Is Algeria in Total Jeopardy?| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 04:23 GMT

Is Algeria in Total Jeopardy?

(MENAFN- Morocco World News) realpolitik: cut the subsidies. It has, indeed, already started in some areas.

This perilous act has been preceded, in the last year or so, by putting stringent conditions on car-importing which led to diplomatic outcry from European countries like Germany, whose manufactured vehicles were denied entry to the Algerian market.

In Algeria, everything is subsidized by the state from medicine to housing, attempting to cut the subsidies will amount to political suicide because the rank and file will argue that the military are denying them a birthright while they themselves indulge unashamedly.

As they will start feeling the pinch of economic reality, the Algerians will take to the street en masse, to denounce their government''s policy. Initially, this will lead, undoubtedly, to scuffles with the police force, but, with time, it will go crescendo into an uprising as more localities, through the country, will join the fray.

If the Arab Spring did not occur in Algeria few years ago it is because people had in the back of the mind the atrocities of the civil war (December 26, 1991-February 8, 2002) and wanted voluntarily to spare their country another blood-spilling episode, so, they shied from taking to the streets. Now, the situation is different, it is about survival, if they cannot have subsidies, then they would want all-out democracy, instead.

The Algerian police force is estimated at 130,000, it is under the command of Direction Generale de la Surete Nationale (DGSN) itself headed by the Ministry of the Interior, and it is charged of maintaining law and order in urban areas in addition of other police routines. In the countryside, the police duties are discharged by the Gendarmerie Nationale, whose forces are estimated at 60,000 and is directly related to the Ministry of Defense and acts also as a versatile paramilitary force.

In the 1988 riots, the two polices in question, the urban and the rural were surpassed by the events and the state had to call in the army to quell the popular discontent with, of course, all the unpleasant results of such an undertaking.

In the case of a probable uprising that could ultimately happen in the next two years or so, the discontent will go national, in a matter of days, because cutting the subsidies will be severing the sacrosanct bloodline and for the ordinary Algerian it is about honor, a concept of manhood and virility known as nif, that would call for revenge and blood-spilling.

This uprising, if it happens when it happens, will certainly lead to many important and salient changes in the future of Algeria. Firstly, the end of the supremacy of the army in politics and economics and its return to the barracks, once for all, to undertake its primordial and only role, that of the defense of the integrity and independence of the country. Secondly, democracy will, more likely, bring back to power the very Islamists that were kicked out by a military coup in 1991 because they are the only organized and regimented political alternative power to fill in the vacuum. Last but not least, Algeria will open up to the world politically and economically; and especially to its immediate neighbor, Morocco, with whom it has been estranged over the Sahara issue since the Green March in 1975.

At this point, the future of Algeria is grim and uncertain; there is an urgent need for immediate and radical change in politics and economics to avoid future probable uprising and upheaval. It is a well-known fact that bread comes before democracy, but, if the establishment cannot provide anymore, somewhat, free bread then Algerians will go for democracy, for good, no matter what the price to pay would be.

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