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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Algerians Continue Protests Amid Army Warnings


7Dnews London - AFP/Reuters

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 17:11 GMT

Algeria's army has warned that it will preserve the north African country's security "in all circumstances and conditions” amid growing protests calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down.

This announcement, made by Deputy Defence Minister Ahmed Gaed Salah, came during an interview with Ennahar TV on Wednesday March 13th, Reuters has reported.

Meanwhile, hundreds of school teachers and students took to the streets in the Algerian capital to protest against Bouteflika’s plans to extend his two-decade rule, according to AFP.

On Monday, in a surprise announcement, the ailing 82-year-old said he would not stand for a fifth term -- but also cancelled next month's presidential election.

After initial celebrations following Bouteflika's announcement, protesters returned to the streets of the capital on Tuesday, accusing the 82-year-old of "tricks".

According to an AFP correspondent, there were middle and high school teachers protesting alongside their students in central Algiers.

One of the teachers at a high school in the Algerian capital said: "it's important that we teachers mobilise” adding: "It's about the future of our children."

The protesters carried signs saying: "No to the extension of a fourth term!"

Schools in Algeria have been hit by a partial strike in recent days as protests have repeatedly rocked the capital and other major cities.

University students have been at the forefront of the movement, in a country where half the population is under the age of 30 and many have never known any president other than Bouteflika.

The veteran leader's promise of a "national conference" to carry out reforms and set a date for new elections "before the end of 2019" suggested he may stay in office for another year.

Middle East