Protesters shout slogans during a protest to demand the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on Thursday. Ramzi Boudina/ Reuters
ALGIERS: Thousands of protesters gathered in central Algiers on Friday, piling pressure on President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika to resign days after the country's powerful military called for his removal.
The army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, on Tuesday asked the constitutional council to rule whether the ailing 82-year-old president is fit for office.
Bouteflika, facing the biggest crisis of his 20-year-old rule, has failed to placate Algerians by reversing a decision to seek a fifth term.
“Streets pressure will continue until the system goes,” said student Mohamed Djemai, 25.
Protesters have ambitious demands. They want to overthrow an entire political system and replace it with a new generation of leaders capable of modernising the oil-dependent state and giving hope to a population impatient for a better life.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to resign before his mandate ends on April 28 is a step in the right direction. A peaceful and democratic transition that addresses the genuine concerns of the Algerian people will be the best way forward.
Algeria’s army chief called on Wednesday for dialogue between protesters and state institutions, a day after pushing back against demonstrators’ demands for top politicians to quit.
Hundreds of Algerians rallied on Wednesday outside the offices of the country’s biggest union, calling for its chief to quit over his ties to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Protesters in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua set fire to tyres and torched a local parliament building on Monday after a demonstration against the recent detention of scores of Papuan students,
The United States no longer has military primacy in the Pacific and could struggle to defend allies against China, a top Australian think tank has warned.
Thirty years ago on Monday Hungarian border guards for the first time allowed people from communist East Germany to cross freely into Austria and hundreds of them rejoiced. The Iron Curtain was passing into history.