Exiled leader Madani buried in Algiers

In this file photo taken on September 14, 2004 Exiled Algerian Islamist leader Abassi Madani talks to journalists in the Qatari capital Doha. (AFP)
Updated 28 April 2019

Exiled leader Madani buried in Algiers

  • For Algerians, Madani remained most associated with the bloodletting during the civil war that pitted the security forces against sometimes feuding armed groups

ALGIERS: Abassi Madani, founder of Algeria’s banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), was buried in the capital Algiers on Saturday days after his death in Qatar where he lived in exile, a security source said.
Madani had called for armed struggle in 1992 after Algeria’s military scrapped the country’s first multi-party parliamentary election which the FIS had won, and pushed for the creation of an Islamic state in the North African nation.
“Abassi Madani will be buried today on Saturday in the El-Alia cemetery,” in an eastern suburb of the capital near the airport, a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, A source close to the family said Madani’s body would arrive from Doha at around 11:25 GMT and would be taken to his home in the central Belcourt neighborhood of Algiers before the burial.
Senior FIS figure El-Hachemi Sahnouni said Madani could be buried either at the El-Alia cemetery or the Sidi Mohamed cemetery close to his home.
He died in a Doha hospital on Wednesday from a “long illness” at the age of 88, FIS co-founder Ali Belhadj said.
The FIS had been on track to win an absolute majority in the 1991-92 parliamentary election when the army canceled the second round, triggering a decade of civil war that left 200,000 dead, according to official figures.
Madani had been living in Qatar since 2003. He had fled into exile after serving a 12-year prison sentence in Algeria on charges predating the election.
For Algerians, Madani remained most associated with the bloodletting during the civil war that pitted the security forces against sometimes feuding armed groups.
He was imprisoned in 1991 and only called for an end to the violence in 1999, when his group said it was laying down its arms.

Navy destroyer’s Beirut visit a ‘security reminder’: US envoy

Updated 16 min 21 sec ago

Navy destroyer’s Beirut visit a ‘security reminder’: US envoy

BEIRUT: The US Navy destroyer USS Ramage docked at the port of Beirut for 24 hours as a “security reminder,” according to Elizabeth Richard, the US ambassador to Lebanon.

“The US Navy is not far away, and Our ships were often near the Mediterranean, and will remain so,” the American envoy said.

Ricard and Vice Admiral James J. Malloy – the commander of the 5th Fleet – whose area of responsibility includes the waters of Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, hosted ‘an on-board reception for US and Lebanese officials.’

USS Ramage is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, named after Vice Admiral Lawson P. Ramage, a notable submarine commander and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II. The ship specializes in destroying guided missiles launched from warships, aside from providing multiple offensive and defensive tasks.

Richard assured that “the security and stability in the East Mediterranean are of utmost importance to the United States and to Lebanon as well, and with regards to the issue of oil derivatives that concerns more than one state in the region, we hope that Lebanon joins in, as the issue of maritime security will soon acquire more importance.”

She assured that: “the presence of the USA in these waters is of common interest, and the presence of the American destroyer in Lebanon is a political message.”

Richard also said that partnership with Lebanon was not limited to military cooperation, and that the USA is “committed to help the Lebanese people through this period of economic hardship, and to supporting the Lebanese institutions that defend Lebanese sovereignty.”

Meanwhile, Admiral Malloy said during the reception that “our military relations with Lebanon transcends the issue of military hardware, and the Lebanese armed forces have set plans to improve its naval capabilities, and the USA will continue playing the primary role in supporting these efforts.”

Built in 1993, the USS Ramage was put into active service in 1995 with a crew of almost 300 officers and enlisted personnel. It is 154 meters long and 20 meters and could reach a top speed of 30 knots, or 56 kilometers per hour.