Algeria: Social Uproar & Anger Mounting, Country’s Stability Threatened

algeria-protestsAlgeria is rocked since the beginning of the New Year by widespread popular protests staged against the government move to increase taxes and prices of electricity, gasoline and food products.

According to press reports, over a 100 demonstrators were arrested in Kabylie region where young protestors burned a bus and a riot police truck. Angry demonstrators ransacked and burned a municipality’s headquarters, and threw stones on several police stations.

Instead of heeding the citizens’ grievances and freeze the price hikes hitting the Algerian consumers’ purchasing power, the authorities threatened to “strike with an iron fist whoever tries to destabilize the country’s security.”

The warnings were made by the Interior ministry after protestors took to the street to denounce the austerity measures included in the new appropriation bill to cope with the impact of oil prices collapse.

These protests come as the political crisis deepens in Algeria amid growing social woes. This explosive situation raises regional and international concern over the future and stability of the country, which has dropped several projects due to lack of necessary funds.

The country’s dinar currency has also plummeted against the U.S. dollar and the Euro, hitting the bottom due to the 50 pc fall in the oil revenues.

Algerian people have already started feeling the impact of the depreciation of the dinar, while foreign products are increasingly becoming out of reach and rare commodities.

In its latest report, International Crisis Group had sounded the alarm bell over the growing popular resentment against Algerian authorities, which have so far managed this burgeoning discontent with a stick-and-carrot policy.

Since 2013, the politically marginal but economically crucial oil-producing areas of the Algerian south have experienced successive waves of unrest over what may appear local economic, environmental and communal issues.

Sensing trouble coming, several western countries warn their citizens against travelling to Algeria due to high risks of terrorist attacks and kidnappings in this country, which is on the verge of implosion.

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