Students are holding a demonstration in Algiers as of Tuesday, October 8, for the 33rd consecutive week of anti-government protests, amid a heightened security presence in the capital. Security forces reportedly used force when trying to disperse the crowd, which gathered Place des Martyrs on the morning (local time), while at least 100 people were arrested. According to media reports, the student march continued despite the arrests, and protesters headed to adjacent streets, including Ali Boumendjel street, Port-Saïd square, and Larbi Benmhidi street.
Associated protests were reported in other cities, including in Bordj Bou Arreridj, where several arrests occurred as well. Heightened security measures are likely across the country, and clashes between protesters and security forces 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.
Demonstrators are denouncing the government's decision to hold presidential elections on December 12, and are demanding fundamental changes in political leadership before any election is held. Protesters also called for the release of political activists, notably Karim Tabbou, an opposition figure.
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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