Two years ago, on the day of the first major demonstration demanding the resignation of President Bouteflika, the streets of Algiers and the largest cities in the country were filled. Two years later, the protest movement is still very much present, even though it has been sealed by the pandemic and by repression.
Illustration with this drawing published by El Watan : we see a masked protester, an Algerian flag on his shoulders, blowing two candles out on a cake and vice versa, a policeman with a water cannon saying to him: “need help?”
Daily comment Freedom: “Algiers have undergone a weekend under surveillance. We know whether the deployment of apparent forces responds to a fear of disruption or if it realizes a message of deterrence. But more than any speech and despite all speech reveals that police foundation in our state. “
Dress rehearsal in Paris
Already yesterday Sunday it peaked The morning in Algeria“There were thousands of Algerians in Paris ahead of the second year of the popular uprising. The protesters, reunited by the regime’s mistakes, called for the release of all prisoners of conscience and demanded a ‘radical change’ of the system. (…) The recent releases from about thirty prisoners of conscience have not convinced. ‘It is a small measure aimed at countering the demonstrations on 22 February,’ said Nabil, quoted by Le Matin. ‘The regime has not changed its software, it continues to mess with solutions that keep us and fool us, we want a global change in governance,’ says Ali. Another adds: ‘We want the release of the whole of Algeria, not just a few detainees who are arbitrarily thrown in jail’. Less than 24 hours before the anniversary date, this collection provides the spotlight for the marches scheduled for Monday in Algiers, concludes Le Matin, a capital city already locked by security services. “
How do you make the movement last?
So two years later “can Hirak reinvent himself?” Asks himself in The young Africa journalist Nadia Henni-Moulaï. “Hirak is not dead. Simply asleep, she replies. Everything seems to have changed in two years – Bouteflika is gone and Tebboune promises a ‘new Algeria’ – but the issues of justice, freedom and rights remain. The fate of the prisoners of conscience, including the journalist Khaled Drareni, was released on Friday after almost a year in prison, conflicting clashes with the acquittal of Saïd Bouteflika and Generals Tartag and Toufik, pronounced by the military court in Blida on January 2 … How to get the movement to to last and give it an effective roadmap? Asks Nadia Henni-Moulaï. Today, the issue is no longer about restarting Hirak. Instead of the form he now has to take to solve the challenges he has launched. With a breaking line threatening within the movement itself: should we negotiate by force or not? And if so, who should represent the movement? ”
Niger: the scale of the security challenge
Also on the front page, the second round of the presidential election in Niger marked yesterday by a terrorist attack: 7 election agents from CENI, the election commission, were killed in the explosion of their vehicle that ran over a mine.
This attack “is in itself symptomatic of the scale of the security challenge that awaits the next president,” exclaims Ledjely in Guinea. Whether his name is Mohamed Bazoum or Mahamane Ousmane, Mahamadou Issoufous’ successor knows that he will have to face the terrorist threat. The jihadists do not admit defeat. And even for those who still doubt it, the attack in the Tillabéry region yesterday is dramatic evidence. Their contemptuous act should even be seen as a kind of warning to the future president. No matter who he is, he does not want respite. “
“Time is no longer for emotions, but for action!”, Launches for its part Wakat Séra in Burkina. “It is urgent to launch the resolutions presented at the last G5 summit in N’Djamena, in particular those strengthening Barkhane’s presence in the Sahel and the deployment of 1,200 Chadian troops to this zone of the ‘three borders’. which divides Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, and which has become an outdoor cemetery for the military and civilian peoples of these countries. ”