If Algerian rulers continue to ignore the protesters’ socioeconomic and political demands, a widespread uprising will sweep the country, said the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in a top-secret report.
The growing risk of implosion has been explained by continuing political deadlock, the Algerian rulers’ outstanding failures, the struggle for power between generals, unpopular & uncharismatic president and a deep economic crisis.
The CIA analysts, who reviewed the political and social situation prevailing in Algeria for more than a year, said the political impasse is due to the failures and contradictions shown by the army-controlled regime.
The popular Hirak movement, which hit the country in Feb. 2019, has shaken deeply the Algerian power though it has not led to its collapse. To weather the storm and absorb popular unrests, the Algerian rulers took contradictory and inconsistent measures with mixed messages showing their frailty, underlined the CIA in its confidential documents.
Furthermore, Algeria has been affected and weakened by internal war raging for several years between clans and those holding reins of power, including within the army, which remains the real power behind the scenes, added the CIA in its analysis.
The clan of Gen. Chengriha, the military chief and de facto ruler, is currently undoing the system set up between 2015 and 2019 by his predecessor, late General Gaïd Salah who had started a military and security purge to get rid of the “DRS State” set up over 25 years ago by General Mediène and his allies.
According to the CIA documents on the country’s risk assessment, the showdown and frictions between top army Generals has paralyzed the Algerian state, mainly the presidency and the government.
The current Algerian military chief inherited unpopular and uncharismatic president. Infected with covid-19, President Abdelmejid Tebboune, who boasted that his country has the best health system in Africa, was flown urgently to Germany to receive medical treatment, just few days after his statements.
For Algerians, it is a ludicrous situation. The powerful generals chased away ailing Bouteflika who was stuck in a wheelchair for years after suffering stroke, to find themselves in the end with a very frail Tebboune.
Algerians and foreign diplomats posted in Algiers are completely at a loss amidst brawling presidential advisers and countless blunders of the government sending mixed signals to local citizens and overseas.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, government officials were unable to supply the country with face-masks and artificial respirators. The reported positive Covid-19 cases are below reality. The country suffers from a deep political crisis exacerbated by an outdated central management and complex administrative procedures.
The crisis is not only affecting the health sector, but also the financial system and the food supply chain, said the CIA report, citing long queues in front of ATM machines and convenient stores…where milk, semolina, pasta and daily goods have become rare commodities whose prices soared exponentially.
The recent announcements made by the Algerian president had a negative impact on Algerian public opinion, added the CIA documents, saying that Algerians expect nothing from the current political class. They… think the army stole their revolution.
And if the authorities fail to address the demands of the pro-democracy protesters, the country will face widespread turmoil, warn the CIA analysts