Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his resignation from office on Tuesday, April 2, effective immediately upon confirmation by the Constitutional Council (meeting imminently). Related demonstrations are possible over the coming hours and days amid a heightened security presence. Associated disruptions (e.g. transportation, commercial, internet service) are likely during demonstrations. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
Bouteflika's resignation comes amid a sustained protest movement demanding his departure from office. Before Bouteflika's April 2 resignation, opposition leaders and civil society groups had renewed calls for nationwide anti-government protests to be held on April 5, despite the president's earlier decision to resign on April 28. Multiple protests have been organized across the country since February 22 in response to Bouteflika's now-halted campaign to be reelected for a fifth term; presidential elections were set for April 18 before being postponed by the president.
Bouteflika has been in power since 1999. There is widespread discontent with his 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. Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaïd Salah has made repeated calls for the immediate removal of Bouteflika, including impeachment proceedings by the legislature, but has faced disapproval from opposition groups.
Individuals in Algeria are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate business and transportation disruptions as well as a heightened security presence near protest sites, refrain from discussing political subjects in public or on social media, and adhere to instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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