Unemployed Youth Threaten to Put End to Own Lives in Algeria’s Boiling South

Dozen disenchanted youths in the southern Algerian city of Ouargla made headlines when they threatened to set themselves on fire following the example of Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi.

The deplorable living conditions in Ouargla and other oil and gas producing regions in southern Algeria stand in stark contrast to the well-off north of the country where key cities are located.

The youth in Ouargla have been protesting for months over poverty and lack of job opportunities accusing the government of plundering the south to fund projects in the north creating striking disparities.

Over the last months, several other protests erupted in southern Algeria over decades of economic marginalization.

The town of Ain Saleh has also been struck by violent clashes with security forces over poverty and unemployment while the region of Ghardaia was rocked by violent sectarian fights between Amazigh Ibadites and Arab Malikites last year.

This happens at a time the regime is seeking a fifth term for ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika whose public appearances are a thing of the past since he was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke.

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