Algeria on the Edge of a “Soft Coup”

First there were the color-named “revolutions” in the countries that emerged from the fall of the Soviet Union; then the Balkan War fractured Yugoslavia, a leader of the non-aligned countries,; then there was the so-called Arab Spring, and now might be the turn of Algeria, where presidential elections are to be held in 2019.

The destabilization of these countries was not randomly chosen: Algeria has always been a bastion for the Third Word and it’s currently defending the Damascus Government with unusual energy in the Arab World, because for the last 25 years it has been one of the first countries to suffer jihadist attacks.

Recently, it was known that General Nazzar had travelled to Paris to secretly meet with Hollande’s agents. Nazzar was one of the key promoters of the 1992 coup d’Etat, which later unleashed a brutal war against jihadism in Algeria.

Nevertheless, on September 13 last year, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika started a military purge that specially affected the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS) —the Algerian intelligence services. General Toufik, who was in charge of the DRS since 1990, was deposed and, with him, left his assistants, such as General Hassan, director of counterespionage, who has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

The chief of the purged agents is General Nezzar, who has come to Paris to show Hollande that he will be able to take the country’s reigns.

The coup in Algeria is evidently linked to a struggle that plays out in the highest political ranks, which is getting ready for the upcoming elections.

Once deposed, Algerian military and spies started talking and their confessions were published in the media that depends on the Broadcasting and Communications Center, which was until recently financed by General Toufik.

For example, the private news station Khabar has made public a two-hour-long interview with Colonel Mohamed Tahar Abdesselem, who was in charge of the Middle East Section of the DRS. Among the information he gave out in the interview, Colonel Abdesselem described the 1992 coup d’Etat.

That Coup took the form of an “interruption of elections”. In the first parliamentary electoral round, the islamists of the Islamic Salvation Front won and they were left with no choice: the militaries had to take over the country.

The Colonel describes that the election was staged. Actually, the coup had been prepared since 1990, when General Nezzar was appointed Minister of Defense and General Toufik was appointed director of the DRS.

Militaries were willing to accept almost every scenario, except for the electoral victory of the Islamists. The Colonel had warned this to the Islamist leader, Abassi Madani —they had both met while they were in jail. When he learned about the relationship between the Colonel and the Islamic leader, General Toufik deposed him, along with 10 other of his officials.

Evidently, in this narration, the major characters of the plan are missing: the imperialist forces, wchich never show their faces. In this case, we are referring to the French imperialists and the reason for the Coup and for the Colonel’s deposition, which was to safeguard the good relations between Algeria and France, as the Algerian TV said.

France can’t deal with the fact that things aren’t going as they planned on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. Not in the 1992 elections, nor in the 2019 ones.

Articles by: Juanma Olarieta

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