Monday, 28 February 2011

DRS believed to have been behind 5-9th January riots

An analysis of Algeria's nationwide riots ('revolt') between 5-10th January has been undertaken by Algeria's opposition Rachad Movement. Its conclusion, based on their examination of what happened in most towns and cities across the country, is that the DRS almost certainly played a key role in both instigating and escalating the violence. This is a commonly used tactic by Algeria's security forces and one that Algeria Politics & Security warned might happen on several occasions last year when we forecast that nationwide unrest would overwhelm the country at some point after September-October.

At the time of the 5-10th January unrest, we reported that agents provocateurs, working for the security forces, had been identified playing a key role in the street violence that was specifically directed at shops and their looting. This strategy was designed to, and succeeded in, scaring many sectors of the population and turning them against the rioters who were portrayed by the state media as 'youths' and 'criminals'. This tactic was facilitated by the strategy of the police not to hold ground but retreating before the rioters and therefore allowing them to cause maximum damage.

Rachad's analysis concludes that this was a nationwide tactic of the DRS to ensure extensive damage to property, both private shops and government buildings, so that Algerians would be shocked and thus less inclined to embark on any further and more concerted attempt to overthrow the regime itself.

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

© 2011 Menas Associates

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