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31 Mar 2019 | 09:37 PM UTC

France: Thousands rally nationwide against Algerian president March 31 /update 4

France News Alert

Thousands attend protests to denounce Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Paris and Marseille March 31; similar protests possible over coming weeks

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/31/2019, 12:00 AM until 4/6/2019, 11:59 PM (Europe/Paris). COUNTRY/REGION Paris, Marseille, France

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Thousands staged demonstrations in Paris and Marseille to demand the immediate resignation of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office on Sunday, March 31. Roughly 6500 protesters rallied at Place de la République in Paris, while another 200 gathered in Marseille, in demonstrations that reportedly passed off peacefully. The protests come as President Bouteflika continues to remain in office despite a pledge that he will not run for a fifth term and will hold elections at a later date. 

Similar protests are possible in France over the coming days and weeks amid a heightened security presence. Localized traffic disruptions are to be anticipated near protest sites.


Thousands of people previously demonstrated in Paris, Marseille, and Toulouse, among other cities, to protest Bouteflika's candidacy in recent weeks. 

Regular protests have been organized across Algeria since February 22 in response to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's campaign to be reelected for a fifth term; presidential elections were set for April 18 but were delayed indefinitely on March 11. Bouteflika has been in power since 1999 and is now expected to step down in the coming months.

There is widespread discontent with Bouteflika's economic policies, lack of public appearances following a stroke in 2013, and repression of speech; such frustrations have led to the largest and most extensive anti-government demonstrations in Algeria since the 2011 Arab Spring protests. Public demonstrations in Algeria, banned since 2001, are usually rare and are often met with a heavy security presence. 


Individuals in France are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.


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