Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Algerian regime's response to riots takes shape

Algerian regime's response to the January 5-9th revolt takes shape. As the uprising of Arab people against their despotic regimes spreads from Tunisia to Egypt, with demonstrations in Yemen, Jordan and Libya and concerns that Morocco may follow suit, so the response of the Algerian regime to its own nationwide revolt is beginning to unfold.

The Algerian opposition movement Rachad has likened its objective of overthrowing the regime by peaceful means to breaking through four concentric rings of defence. The first ring collapsed almost immediately as the government made concessions on food prices – the 'final straw' that galvanised the nationwide rioting.

The second ring looks like collapsing in the next few days. This will involve the removal of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, with the possible lifting of the State of Emergency that has now been in force for 19 years. It may also be accompanied by the freeing of some or all of the detained rioters, and giving greater freedom to the media in general.

The replacement of Ouyahia, barring any sudden change of circumstance within the regime, looks likely to occur imminently, with our sources suggesting possibly this weekend. Beyond that, none of the other concessions are assured.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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