Thousands protest in Algeria capital, break police cordon

Algerians protest on their independence day, after authorities arrested activists last week. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 July 2019
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Thousands protest in Algeria capital, break police cordon

  • Other chants glorified the martyrs of Algeria's war of independence, on what is the country's independence day
  • The protest comes two days after interim President Abdelkader Bensalah called for a national dialogue, in which he promised the state and army would remain neutral

ALGIERS: Around 2,000 people protested in the Algerian capital against the interim government Friday, defying a significant police presence just days before the mandate of its president expires, witnesses said.
Dozens of police vans were stationed near the main post office, a symbolic building for the protest movement now in its 20th week, an AFP journalist reported.
Ranks of police officers wearing helmets and equipped with shields tried to block the protesters and confine them to a pavement around 10 metres (yards) from the post office esplanade.
But amid shouts of "Long live Algeria! Peacefully, our claims are legitimate!", hundreds of the protesters successfully forced their way through the police cordon and headed for the esplanade.
Around a dozen protesters were arrested and placed in police vans, witnesses said.
Mass protests forced longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in early April, but demonstrators have kept up the pressure, calling for other regime insiders to step aside and demanding independent institutions be established to oversee fresh elections.
"Go, liberate Algeria!", shouted the protesters, waving the national flag.
Other chants glorified the martyrs of Algeria's war of independence, on what is the country's independence day.
The protest comes two days after interim President Abdelkader Bensalah called for a national dialogue, in which he promised the state and army would remain neutral.
Bensalah's mandate is due to expire on Tuesday and he warned on Wednesday against the risk of the country falling into a constitutional vacuum.
"Wherever you are, we are - we will not stop!" the protesters shouted, referring to the government.
They chanted slogans against any elections organised by a "mafia gang".


Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

Updated 18 September 2019

Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

  • Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Tuesday that if Israel went ahead with the idea of annexing all the settlements in the West Bank it would be a “disaster” for attempts to find any two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Speaking after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Abdullah said he was “extremely concerned” about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex all the West Bank settlements.

He said it will “directly impact” the relationship between Israel and Jordan, and Israel and Egypt, and that “these types of statements are ... a disaster to any attempt to move forward to the two-state solution.”

Merkel agreed, calling Netanyahu’s vow “unhelpful.” The German government backs an internationally negotiated peace solution in the sense of a two state solution ... annexations are always detrimental to peace solutions. They do not help and therefore we do not agree, said Merkel

Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

Netanyahu’s career was on the line on Tuesday as Israel held its second national election this year, with voters deciding whether to give him another term in office despite a likely indictment on corruption charges.

The longest serving leader in Israeli history was seeking a fourth consecutive term in office and fifth overall. 

But he faced a stiff challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist Blue and White party is running even with Netanyahu’s Likud. 

Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, though, forcing them into a potential unity government.