Algeria govt lifts emergency to avoid Egypt's fate

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Algiers, Feb 15: Its raining revolutions in the Arab world. Autocratic regimes in Egypt and Tunisia have already succumbed to revolts and now it seems that revolution has struck Algeria.

As anti-regime protests gathered mass on Feb 14, the Algerian government in an preemptive move announced that it would lift the state of emergency that has been clamped on the country since 1992. Analysts say that the move is aimed to thwart Egypt-styled unrest that toppled Hosni Mubarak's government.

Al-Jazeera news quoted Foreign minister Medelci as saying, "In the coming days, we will talk about it as if it (emergency) was a thing of the past."

On Feb 12, protesters defied a police ban and took to the streets in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The following day (Feb 13), saw hundreds of protesters clashing with the police in an eastern city of the country.

Opposition groups in the country are less than impressed with the Government's plan of easing out emergency and have announced that demonstrations would continue every Saturday until the Government resigns.

A spokesman of the opposition group said, "We will continue to march until the regime steps down. Each Saturday we will maintain the pressure."

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