Algeria issues emergency plan to fight civil unrest

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on July 8 issued an emergency plan to combat ethnic-driven civil unrest in the southern city of Ghardaia. It is reported that 22 people have died due to violence by rival gangs in the region this week. The plan issued by President Bouteflika places the 4th Military Region commander in charge of local authorities to oversee "the restoration and preservation of public order throughout the province of Ghardaia." Unrest in the region [pitting Arabs against Berbers] has been a reoccurring issue over the past years. 

Prior to the re-election of President Bouteflika, Human Rights Watch in 2014 expressed concern about authorities suppressing demonstrations in the weeks leading up to the elections In December 2011 Algeria passed a controversial media law, barring journalists from "undermining" the Algerian government and its policies and security. Earlier that year a UN rights expert called on Algeria to guarantee freedoms of opinion and expression to its people. This came a week after Bouteflika promised to reform the country's constitution and change its election laws to appease political protesters. The government lifted its 19-year state of emergency the month before.

From Jurist, July 9. Used with permission.