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Algerians protest against military enters 13th week



Algerians protest against military enters 13th week


Chief of the army staff Gaid Salah has kept a high profile since February when many Algerians took to the streets calling for the then long-time president Abdulaziz Bouteflika to step down.

In April, Bouteflika resigned after weeks of nationwide protests and under pressure from the powerful military.

Demonstrations, since then, have continued in Algeria to pressure key Bouteflika-era officials into leaving and demand an overhaul of the political system.

Protesters rallied to the centre of Algiers, raising placards, reading: “No to the rule of generals.”

Some protesters were critical of Salah, who was appointed by Bouteflika in the post in 2004.

“Gaid Salah tries to get round people’s demands although he is one of the symbols of the Bouteflika regime,” Salima Hadaidi, a protester, told dpa.

“Algerians will not accept the military to rule,” the 42-year-old woman added at the Central Post square, a focal point of the weekly protests in the capital.

Other demonstrators renewed their demand for the departure of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, regarded as loyalists of Bouteflika.

“Earlier Friday, police forces cordoned off the Central Post Square and prevented protesters from entering the iconic site,’’ witnesses said.