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Interview of Hocine Ait-Ahmed with Le Parisien

Date : 2001-05-06

translated by Dr. Salah Badjou (May 6, 2001)

 Bouteflika, That's Chaos!

Original at Le Parisien

Hocine Aït-Ahmed, 75, is one of the last historical leaders of the Algerian war of independence. President of the FFS (Socialist Forces Front), he has always been an opponent to the regime in place in Algiers. Candidate to the presidential elections of 1999, he pulled out on the eve of the elections, along with the four other rivals of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Last Thursday, in Algiers, following the call of his party, strongly implanted in Kabylia where tension is at its highest, thousands of demonstrators have marched under the slogans of "Pouvoir Murderer!" This demonstration occurred certainly in calm. But what about the next? In the interview that he granted to our newspaper, Aït-Ahmed denounces the heavy oppression that has been suffocating his country since independence--a dictatorship, he says, always in the hands of the military. And the old leader to dream of a perestroika, the only means to bring down an unworthy regime. Yesterday, at Paris and in Province, several hundred persons demonstrated against the repression of the demonstrations in Kabylia, which has led to at least 40* deaths in the last two weeks.

Le Parisien: After the last 12 days of riots in Kabylia and 60 dead, the demonstration that you have organized in Algiers, which has gathered several thousand people, took place in calm. How do you explain this?

Hocine Aït-Ahmed: We had not requested an authorization for this demonstration. But we knew that Algerians wanted nothing but to show their solidarity with those who have shouted their ras-le-bol of the pouvoir, which has so far generated nothing but misery and violence. The stakes were high. This had to do with proving that we were capable of avoiding excesses. Algerians know how to demonstrate peacefully when there are no provocations. This is why I warned against any provocations no matter where it came from, because it could have caused a blood bath which would have set the whole country ablaze. The success of this march also shows that a political alternative exists in our country.

Le Parisien: This did not then involve, in Kabylia, purely regionalist demands?

Hocine Aït-Ahmed: Of course. The entire world was able to hear the slogans shouted by the youth in Kabylia. They go well beyond the scope of demands for identity, which is, besides, totally legitimate.

The revolt of these youth obeys immediate causes: the lawlessness and the right to life and death of the security services who have triggered the fire by executing young Massinissa [a young high-school student killed by the paramilitary gendarmes on April 18]. This should not make us forget the desire of some to throw Kabylia into chaos. No doubt, to produce the pretext to crack down on the region, which is at the forefront of the struggle for democracy as it was during the liberation war. But there are also deeper causes, shared by all Algerians: worsening poverty (including the middle classes), unemployment that hits 33 percent of the population…In brief, no hope for the future. Not to mention this endless war, with its dead, its handicapped for life, and its thousands of disappeared and forcibly displaced.

Le Parisien: How do you conceive of an exit to the crisis?

Hocine Aït-Ahmed: Who could today deny what we have said for a long time. That is, that the politics of eradication would only lead to human tragedy and a dead end. There is no possible exit from the crisis without lifting the state of emergency and a return to civilian peace, that is without a political solution to the crisis. There are, in our country, unsuspected human potentialities. But these cannot be expressed and mobilized as long as the pouvoir works hard at breaking any autonomous expression and dividing Algerians.

Le Parisien: What conclusion do you draw about the 2 years of Bouteflika's presidency?

Hocine Aït-Ahmed: There is too much of a tendency to view Bouteflika in opposition with the army, without realizing that both are fundamentally in agreement to maintain the status-quo and preserve the system. Bouteflika has been chosen for his past as foreign minister--a way to prevent the international community from seeing what is happening in Algeria. In reality, nothing has changed. It is chaos.

Le Parisien: The French general, Paul Aussaresses, has just recognized that he tortured and assassinated during the war of independence.

Hocine Aït-Ahmed: The demand for a trial for crimes against humanity seems to me a minimum concerning a "monster" who recognizes having himself assassinated Ali Boumendjel, a great political figure, and Larbi Ben M'hidi with whom I shared so much, as friend and politically-speaking. The actions of Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin seem to me a good beginning. All Algerians know that henceforth impunity does not exist and that crimes, sooner or later, catch up with their authors.


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Commentaire N° : 1
Par: marino zecchini Le : 2011-01-29
Titre: avviso urgente per il signor Jugurta ait ahmet
Pays: Italy  

il signor Nini De Fakco YAhya ? all\'ospedate di Varaese e vorrebbe comunicare al pi? presto con Il signor Ait Ahmet Jugurta grazie  

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