AFRICA/ALGERIA - Peaceful protests, the people of Algeria become “actor of change for the future””
Algiers – “ Demonstrations taking place are peaceful. Even the people are surprised at the serenity of the action. Society desires and demands a new future”. Graziella Rapacioli, Caritas Algeria secretary general, reports to Fides on the social and political situation in Algeria. For two months now the country has seen massive demonstrations in the streets. Initially the demonstrators opposed the re-candidacy of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who, although in office for 20 years and a sick man, had announced his desire to recadidate himself in the May elections. However continuing demonstrations forced Bouteflika to withdraw from the electoral race. Nevertheless protests continue. Every Friday the people take to the streets demanding renewal of the entire political class.
What is astonishing is the composure and peaceful attitude with which Algerians are living this deleicate moment of change. Perhaps this is due to fear of another spiral of violence like the one which gripped the country from 1991 to 2002 and caused, it is calculated, between 60 and 150 thousand victims.
“We see - Graziella Rapacioli continues – marches passing peacefully in front of our windows, there are families with children. We are the first to be surprised by this serenity which is however accompanied with determination. Algerians are calling for serious change: on this point they refuse to be dissuaded”.
According to Algeria's Costitution a new date for election must be set soon. “The path of change – Rapacioli affirms – has been opened . Perhaps not everything will change at once. Perhaps a radical change will take time. But it is interesting to see that something is moving and this change is the result of the desires and the will of the people of Algeria. They have become the main actor of change and of their future”.
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