Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika Fires Two Top Army Generals

Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika Fires Two Top Army Generals

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last weekend dismissed two powerful army generals, the official news agency APS said.

The generals, Said Bey and Lahbib Chentouf, had been in charge of the first and second military regions. Algeria is divided into six military regions. Algeria’s army has long been considered a behind-the-scene decision-maker.

The presidency did not give a reason for the dismissals, which came two months after Bouteflika sacked the North African nation’s police chief, Abdelghani Hamel, who was seen as a likely successor to the head of state.

The spring 2019 presidential election has thrown the country into a slow-burning political crisis with the prospect that ailing 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika may seek a fifth term.

Bouteflika’s health is understood to be a grave concern for those within his inner circle after two severe strokes left him very weak.

The opposition accuses the president’s inner circles, particularly his youngest brother Saïd and a group of associated moguls, of taking over power and state institutions by taking advantage of Bouteflika’s health conditions.

Last May, fourteen Algerian opposition politicians, activists, jurists, and academics, led by former Prime Minister Ahmed bin Beitour, sent a letter to President Bouteflika directly, urging him not to yield to the calls for a fifth presidential term because it would be “a disaster for himself and the country.”

Share This