Thousands of students marched through central Algiers on Tuesday, July 16, to demand a fundamental change in political leadership and to call for freedom of the press and judicial independence. Protesters initially gathered at Place des Martyrs in the morning (local time) before proceeding to Place de la Grande Poste. A heightened security presence has been reported in the vicinity of the demonstration site, as well as in central Algiers. Localized traffic disruptions are likely over the coming hours. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Similar protests are to be expected in Algiers and other Algerian cities over the coming weeks amid a heightened security presence. Localized transportation and business disruptions are to be anticipated around demonstration sites.
Political tensions have been high in Algeria since former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on April 2 following weeks of protests sparked by his intention to run for a fifth term. A caretaker government was approved on March 31, though protesters have vowed to continue to hold demonstrations until the elections.
On June 2, the Algerian Constitutional Council scrapped the July 4 presidential election, rejecting two candidates who had reportedly failed to reach 60,000 signatures in support of their candidacies. Thousands of people protested in Algiers following the announcement, demanding the removal of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, who was instructed by the Constitutional Council to organize a new election at an unspecified later date. While Bensalah's mandate expired on July 9, he is expected to continue his tenure over the coming weeks amid additional anti-government protests and demonstrations.
Individuals in Algiers and across Algeria are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized business and transportation disruptions around protest sites.
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