ALGIERS, 16 February 2021 – Tens of thousands of Algerians demonstrated Tuesday in the northern town of Kherrata, demanding political change in the north African country.
“A civilian state, not a military state” and “The gang must go,” chanted tens of thousands of Kherrata residents.
“The secret service controls Algeria” and “long live free Algeria,” some of the protesters chanted from the heart of Kherrata.
The protests mark the second anniversary of 2019 “Hirak”, the mass nationwide street protests which culminated in the fall of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The Hirak movement were organized to prevent Bouteflika from running for a record fifth presidential term in office.
When Bouteflika bowed out of power in April 2019, the movement continued, demanding that all senior officials who were insiders to the regime should also go.
“We came to revive the Hirak that was stopped for health reasons. They didn’t stop us. We stopped because we care for our people. Today, coronavirus is over and we will get the Hirak back,” Reuters reported Tuesday, citing one of the participants at protests held in Kherrata Tuesday.
Crowds gathered in the town’s main square where the Hirak protests started in 2019.
Abdelmedjid Tebboune won elections and replaced Bouteflika in December 2019.
The elections were delayed and later decried as a charade by Hirak supporters when they held.
Tenbboune has publickly acknowledged the role played by the Hirak movement, but his open endorsement of some of the reforms the movement has not been followed by action to move their agenda forward.