Thousands of protesters gathered in Algiers to march in a demonstration on Friday, September 20, which marked the 31st consecutive week of anti-government protests in Algeria. Protesters denounced the government's decision to hold presidential elections on December 12, and demanded fundamental changes in political leadership before any election is held, as well as the release of protesters held during previous demonstrations. Protesters faced heightened resistance in the days leading up to the protest, with the country's army chief ordering roadblocks to be set up on Thursday, September 19, in an effort to prevent protesters from entering the capital.
Protests are expected to continue in Algiers and other Algerian cities over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized transportation and business disruptions are to be anticipated around demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
On Sunday, September 15, interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced that presidential elections will be held on December 12, following months of political tensions in Algeria, sparked by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's intention to run for a fifth term. A caretaker government was approved on March 31, though protesters have continued to hold demonstrations. Presidential elections previously set for July 4 were called off by the Algerian Constitutional Council after the only two candidates were rejected.
Individuals in 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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