Army chief warns against foreign interference in Algeria’s affairs

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Ahmed Gaid Salah Chief of Staff of the Algerian Army on June 27, 2012. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Ahmed Gaid Salah Chief of Staff of the Algerian Army. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Algerian army chief on Monday warned against what he described as “hostile foreign parties” trying to intervene in the current political crisis in his country, according to a statement issued by the Defense Ministry.

“Hostile foreign parties are trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Algeria, with blatant complicity of the gang inside the country,” Algerian Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah said in a speech during his visit to the second military zone in the western province of Oran, according to the statement.

Gaid Salah was referring to the recent statement of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, which criticized the decision of Algerian authorities to hold presidential election on December 12, under the pretext that Algerians are protesting every week to demand for regime change to the incumbent government.

“These attempts are desperate, as they aim to destabilize the country and have posed a threat to the safety of its people,” said the army chief.

“Algerians are the owners of their country who are entitled to make decisions independently, and will follow no instructions from any other party,” Gaid Salah said, adding that what is happening in Algeria is “a pure internal affair that concerns Algerians alone, as the people who are backed up by their army would know how to thwart such maneuvers, which are doomed to failure.

“Algerian people will get out of the crisis soon, through organizing free, fair and transparent presidential election,” he added.

In mid-September, Algerian interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced the holding of the presidential election on December 12.

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