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Posts tagged ‘Amazigh Land of Algeria’

Official warns of frenzied campaign against Algeria economy

June 19, 2018

The President of Algeria’s Agricultural Chamber in the El Oued Province, Bakar Hamid, said his country is experiencing a frantic propaganda campaign aimed at damaging the national economy.

The official made his remarks during an interview with local eChorouk newspaper after some countries returned agricultural products imported from Algeria.

Hamid explained that it is necessary to counter such campaigns with all available means so that Algeria can impose its presence in the global market to improve its economy.

He explained that none of the products exported from El-Oued province had been returned, adding, however, that one exporter has exported dates to 12 countries and none of them were returned.

Hamid added that Algeria applies international health standards and any product destined for export should be granted a health certificate in accordance with the agreement signed between the two countries.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180619-official-warns-of-frenzied-campaign-against-algeria-economy/.

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Algeria reinforces its surveillance over its borders with Morocco

February 16, 2018

Algerian authorities announced they would increase the number of border surveillance posts on the Algerian-Moroccan borders by building 10 new posts “that will be added to the 24 surveillance posts it had set up in 2015 to activate control measures and stop smuggling between the two countries.”

Akhbar el-Yom newspaper, which reported the news on Thursday, stated that this move that it described as “dramatic,” comes “tighten electronic military surveillance by providing support to the work of the units that are in charge of guarding border security based on intelligence reports briefings”.

According to the same newspaper, “10 border Algerian posts will be built, and so the total number will jump to 24 security surveillance posts that Algeria has established over the past two years, under the pretext of strengthening surveillance and hindering the smuggling networks between the two countries.”

According to preliminary evidence, the Algerian border posts are to be established in six Algerian border towns: “Ghazaouet, Bab El Assa, Maghnia, Marsa Ben M’Hidi, Souani, and Beni Boussaid”. These are classified as very sensitive border points by security reports, which are often used by widely-spread smuggling gangs.

The newspaper quoted military sources as saying that “the Algerian border posts will be supported by military engineering equipment and about 33 border surveillance cameras, and they will be tasked to track smuggling networks and ISIS’s (Daesh) terrorist groups and cover the large border crossings with surveillance devices that will be functional 24 hours a day non-stop.”

According to the same sources, the “Command of the Second Military Zone of the Border Guard formed a work and follow-up cell on the construction of border posts, which are scheduled to be opened before the end of April, to raise the border guards’ security vigilance and support them with new security equipment to combat organised and cross-continental crimes.”

The Algerian border posts will be built along the line of contact with the cities of Oujda, Berkane, Taourirt, as well as Jerada. The border guards will be increased to provide security information, control the movement of smuggling networks and face the terrorist threats that are coming from the Sahel and Sahara and that seek to break though the region.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180216-algeria-reinforces-its-surveillance-over-its-borders-with-morocco/.

Algeria doctors’ union extends strikes

January 15, 2018

Algeria’s doctors have continued their strike until further notice following a week of protests in the country after a sit-in calling for better working conditions in the capital Algiers was dispersed violently by authorities.

The national office of the Autonomous Collective of Algerian Resident Doctors (CAMRA) said in a statement that its demands were discussed with the Minister of Health, Mokhtar Hasbellaoui.

The national CAMRA office said on Saturday that the national representatives of the group held its third meeting with Hasbellaoui in which the compulsory civil and military services were discussed.

A number of terms were agreed to by the Ministry of Health “verbally”, according to CAMRA which include more flexibility during civil service, the right to housing and transportation access and better training.

The Ministry of Health has reportedly not taken any decision yet on the lifting of compulsory civil service which doctors are expected to work following their graduation, for 4-5 years, and sent to remote places in the country with poor facilities and living conditions.

Hasbellaoui informed strikers that he had met with Deputy Defense Minister Gaid Salah to discuss the compulsory military service for men, promising a report as soon as possible.

He blamed hospital and health directors for the deterioration of the medical residents’ situation and deferred any responsibility for the recent demonstrations in the country’s main cities.

The Minister of Health also called on the Directors of Public Health to do all they can to benefit resident doctors so that they perform their civil service in the best conditions.

Last week, protest marches and solidarity sit-ins were organised by resident doctors in several regions in Algeria to make their voices heard and bring their demands to the country’s highest authorities.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180115-algeria-doctors-union-extends-strikes/.

Celebrating Berber new year marks shift in Algeria’s identity politics

2018-01-08

By Lamine Ghanmi – Tunis

Algeria will become the first North African coun­try to celebrate the Ber­ber new year as a na­tional public holiday. The move signals a major shift in identity politics, which had been dominated by strife and tensions between the government in Algiers and most of the Berber-speaking population in the restive north-eastern Kabylie region.

Berber activists hailed Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s de­cision making the Berber new year day, Yennayer, a public holiday as the crowning achievement of a his­toric struggle and a victory against what they described as Algeria’s “cultural tyranny of Arabism and Arab Ba’athism.” The holiday will be on January 12 this year.

“Who would believe that under the leadership of this president, who had declared with an arro­gant and threatening tone that Tamazight will never be recognized as an official language, that this laguage would be enshrined in the constitution as a national and offi­cial language and Yennayer would be declared a national holiday and paid day off for all Algerians?” asked Ali Ait Djoudi, a veteran activist from the Berber Cultural Move­ment, in a message on social media.

Algerian writer Amin Zaoui said: “At last, Algerians are reconciling slowly with their history, their an­cestors and their identity.”

“There is a long way to climb the path of Lalla Dihya Kahena, Juba, Apulee, Massinissa and others,” he added, naming historical figures known for defense of Berber iden­tity and territory.

Algerian writer Kamel Daoud said: “The decision to make Yen­nayer a national holiday was to be hailed because it would help, over the long run, heal deep wounds and harvest fruits in the future.”

Analysts said Bouteflika an­nounced the recognition of the Berber holiday before the 12th an­niversary of the implementation of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation to strengthen social and political stability ahead of the presidential election next year.

The charter, proposed by Boutef­lika to end the civil war by offering amnesty for most acts of violence committed in the conflict pitting Islamist jihadists and the military, was endorsed by a referendum in 2005 and implemented in February 2006.

The conflict broke out in Decem­ber 1991 after the army-backed gov­ernment scrapped elections radi­cal Islamists were poised to win. It claimed the lives of an estimated 200,000 people, mostly civilians killed by Islamists.

“The decision over Yennayer came in these moments of doubts and multiple crises. It reinforces the cohesion of the nation by putting an end to unnecessary misunderstand­ings that are the result of a govern­ance that lacked farsightedness and anticipation,” said Algerian writer Brahim Tazaghart.

It followed the recognition of the Berber language as an official and national language alongside Arabic.

“It is a historic and bold decision by President Bouteflika. It ends the dictatorship and obscurantism of the Ba’athist culture, which hurts us each day by brandishing its rac­ist concept of the Arab nation and spawning hatred within society and undermining the nation’s unity,” said Algerian MP Khaled Tazaghart from the Future Front party, an op­position group.

Language and culture issues go to the heart of Algeria’s identity. It has been a determining factor in rela­tions with other countries.

The French colonial authorities banned Arabic in primary schools in Algeria, dismissing it as a backward language. After independence, in 1962, nationalist leaders adopted an Arabisation policy to undo the lin­guistic legacy of 132 years of French occupation. Towards that end, they recruited thousands of teachers from Egypt and Syria to fill positions left by fleeing French teachers.

However, most of the Egyptian and Syrian teachers were members of the Muslim Brotherhood fleeing crackdowns by Arab national­ist leaders in Cairo and Damascus. Their massive presence in the edu­cation system sparked a backlash in parts of Algeria, especially in Berber-speaking areas, against what was perceived as Arab domination with claims that the Arab teachers had turned Algerian schools into “factories churning out fanatical Psalmists.”

The spread of Arabic influenced the Berbers for centuries, including from the 15th century and through the 17th century when Arabisation of Berbers was accelerated by waves of Andalusian refugees expelled from Spain.

Berbers maintained their tradi­tions, dialects and rituals even after accepting Islam as a religion, mainly in Morocco and Algeria. Their total number in the two countries is esti­mated at 28 million.

Gradually, Algeria has met the de­mands of advocates of Berber cul­ture and language.

A Berber uprising involving a school boycott in Kabylie region in 1995 by parents protesting that their children could speak but not write in their native language led Algerian officials to introduce the Tamazight language into primary education.

In 2002, the government recognized the language as a national one following a deadly protest. The lan­guage was recognized as a national and official language, on equal foot­ing with Arabic, in 2016.

Berber activists have called on the Algerian government to allocate funding to the promotion and the use of their language. Thousands took to the streets in December to back such a demand.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=86693.

Police clash with doctors protesting in Algiers

January 3, 2018

Algerian police prevented doctors from taking part in a protest outside the Mustafa Pasha Hospital in Algiers on Wednesday. The protesters’ demand include improved working conditions in the country’s hospitals and for the government to reconsider compulsory civil service.

The National Association of Independent Medical Practitioners organized the demonstration outside the hospital before the doctors tried to take their protest beyond the hospital grounds and into the streets. That is when they were blocked by the security forces.

A number of protesters were injured in the scuffles and arrested.

Over the past two years pharmacy, dental and medical students have taken part in a number of protests, sit-ins and hunger strikes demanding better services from the Ministry of Health and better prospects once they graduate. Many are forced to work in poor conditions with few employment rights and, despite promises from the Ministry to provide better services, the government has done little to improve the situation.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180103-police-clash-with-doctors-protesting-in-algiers/.

Algeria to introduce electronic elections in 2022

December 29, 2017

The Algerian Administration will be able to organize electronic elections as early as 2022, the interior ministry announced yesterday.

“We will be ready as an administration, to organize electronic elections, from the legislative elections of 2022,” Noureddine Bedoui said in an interview with Radio Algerie Internationale.

Bedoui further added that “2017 was the year of elections par excellence through the two important deadlines that were legislative and local”, he welcomed the “constitutional deadlines after disturbances in the past that have had negative results both nationally and internationally.”

However the election turnout since 2007 has been very poor with only a 30 per cent participation rate in some of the elections due to large distrust in the process and many instances of election fraud that have taken place.

In this light, the government is looking for ways to prevent the fraudulent process by adopting electronic elections. Regarding the criticism, according to Bedoui, measures adopted this year have allowed for a cleaner election and the removal of 1,300,000 names from the electorate owing to death or “multiple registrations”.

This year’s elections “were held in good conditions”, Bedoui said, adding that they allowed “the new constitutional values ??from the amended Constitution, namely democracy, freedom of expression, opinion and the press as well as the consolidation of the citizen’s place and all the legal conditions gathered through the revision of the electoral code.”

As well as the creation of the Municipal People’s Assemblies and Wilayas (APC / APW) in monitoring local elections, Bedoui added that more work is needed “in terms of support for new elected officials in terms of training and necessary instructions for local development and the creation of wealth on the basis of local potentialities”.

Bedoui praised the work done by the Independent High Electoral Monitoring Body (HIISE) this year and confirmed an evaluation of its work will take place to further improve the electoral system.

Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front party won legislative elections held in May this year though with decreased support compared to previous years. The election was marred by claims of fraud and only 35 per cent of Algerians voted in the election as many had little faith in the ballot box aligning their affairs and believed the outcome of the vote had already been decided.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171229-algeria-to-introduce-electronic-elections-in-2022/.

Algeria sets Berber New Year as public holiday

December 28, 2017

The Berber New Year of Yennayer will be recognized as a national holiday in Algeria for the first time on 12 January, it was announced yesterday.

The Council of Ministers met yesterday with President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and issued a statement announcing the new national holiday.

“By offering his best wishes to the Algerian people on the eve of the year 2018, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced his decision to devote Yennayer as a day off and paid as of January 12, the government being responsible for making the appropriate arrangements for this effect.”

The head of state “urged the government to spare no effort to generalize the teaching and use of Tamazight, in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the Constitution” and also instructed the government to accelerate the preparation of the draft law establishing an Algerian Academy of the Amazigh Language, according to the Council’s statement.

The idea behind this latest move is to strengthen “national unity and stability” at a time when the country faces threats from “multiple internal and regional challenges”, the President said.

In the last few weeks, Algeria’s Berber region has witnessed a number of protests after a proposed draft law making the Berber language compulsory in schools across the country was blocked by parliamentarians.

Tamazight was recognized as an official language of Algeria when the Constitution was amended in 2016.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171228-algeria-sets-berber-new-year-as-public-holiday/.

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