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In Algeria, have the Islamists taken control of the demonstrations?

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Moukhabarate irhabia, tassqot el mafia el askaria! ” (the security services are terrorists, down with the military mafia): it has been one of the new slogans chanted during the Hirak marches in Algeria for a few weeks.

Unheard of during the “first season” of Hirak, read the newspaper El Watan. Forced to stop for many months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this movement to contest power, born two years ago against Abdelaziz Bouteflika, returned to the Algerian pavement in February. With slogans “contrary to the spirit of silmiya [du pacifisme, ndlr]”.

Fighting songs, religious allusions … For several weeks, observers have been worried about an infiltration of Islamists into the demonstrations. For El Watan, in another article, “The religious content of the rallying cries aims to divert the Hirak from its democratic fundamentals to progressively involve it in an ideological fight”.

A resurrection of the FIS?

To “unmask” these newcomers to the demonstrations, Patriotic Algeria offers keys: “For [les] Recognize, one only has to focus one’s gaze on the elements that chant slogans linked to the Black Decade and brandish images of former military officials now retired to understand that they are on a mission. “

Because these enemies of the hirakists of the first hour have a name: Rachad. This movement ensures that it follows “democratic principles and good governance”. On its official website, the movement claims to ban “any form of extremism, exclusion or discrimination” and advocate “non-violence to bring change”. But among its founders, there are well-known figures: Mourad Dhina and Mohamed Larbi Zitout, former members of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) who remind Algerians of the worst years of the “black decade”, the Algerian civil war. which took place between 1991 and 2002. The FIS, now dissolved, had led the armed struggle.

These activists benefit from know-how and are structured, unlike the Hirakists, who refuse to bring out a leader. During demonstrations, they no longer hesitate to lead the processions, Note El Watan. “Where many parties, especially those of the democratic movement, have chosen to march while avoiding appearing too much for fear of negative reactions, the militants of Rachad, for their part, are offensive and impose slogans, routes.”

The ghost of the dark decade

For the editorial writer of Freedom, Mustapha Hammouche, the cohabitation between these militant Islamists and the hirakists of the beginnings of the movement is not possible: “The FIS cannot assume neither the democratic purpose nor the pacifist creed. Its purpose is to replace it. By stripping the Hirak of its positive forces. “

He predicts a gloomy future: “It will then only have to push some cannon fodder towards the irreparable, just to redo the coup of October 1988: it is the youth who are rising up, who are arrested, tortured. and, possibly, shoot it, and it is the FIS which negotiates with the presidency. ”

On Tuesday, under the presidency of Abdelmajid Tebboune, the High Security Council (HCS) met to reaffirm the intransigence of the state in the face of anti-democratic movements. Without citing them openly, the HCS press release refers to two “extremist” movements, Explain Algerian Evening, including the Rachad.

“The President of the Republic has given instructions for an immediate and rigorous application of the law, intended to put an end to these non-innocent activities and these unprecedented overruns, in particular with regard to the institutions and symbols of the State,” and who are trying to hinder the democratic and development process in Algeria ”, we read in the press release.

@International mail

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