Algeria: unions stand up to terror —and privatization

Trade unions in Algeria are calling on members to rally Sept. 9 to denounce suicide attacks that have claims dozens of lives in recent days. (BBC, Sept. 8) Workers at Algeria’s ports have also threatened with a series of rolling strikes in protest of the government’s privatization plans. Algiers is negotiating with Dubai Ports World over the company taking a 50% stake in the container terminal at the port of Djen Djen. The Coordination Nationale des Syndicats des Ports d’Algerie (CNSPA), which represents many of the Algerian unions working on the docks and in the maritime sector, has vocally opposed the change. (Echorouk Online, Aug. 18)

See our last posts on the Maghreb and Algeria.

  1. Algeria: more terror as labor mobilizes
    Algeria was rocked by its second suicide bomb attack in three days Sept. 8 when a blast ripped through a naval barracks in the port town of Dellys, killing at least 30 people. Most of the dead were members of the coastguard, but three civilians were also killed, and many of the 47 wounded were civilians.

    The North African branch of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack as well as the apparent assassination attempt on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the eastern city of Batna Sept. 6. AlJazeera television cited a statement posted on the Internet from the group. (AFP, Sept. 8)

    Thousands took part in marches against terrorism in a number of cities Sept. 9, including Algiers. The country’s main trade unions urged a massive turnout at the rallies to send the message to terrorists: “Don’t touch my Algeria.” Chanting “terrorists are not Muslims,” a crowd of mostly women rallied in the capital to denounce the latest attacks. (EuroNews, Australian Broadcasting Corp., Sept. 9)

  2. Algeria gets terror for Ramadan
    From the New York Times, Sept. 15:

    A bomb outside a housing compound for police officials killed three people and wounded five, security officials said. The attack, in Zemmouri, about 30 miles east of Algiers, came as tensions ran high after two deadly attacks last week by Al Qaeda’s North Africa affiliate, both against state targets.

  3. More terror in Algeria
    From AP, Sept. 21, via the New York Times:

    An Algerian police convoy escorting European workers was bombed, wounding nine people in the latest of a string of attacks that have shaken Algeria and the government’s effort to get beyond an insurgency that wracked the country in the 1990s and continues to simmer. The Interior Ministry said two French citizens, one Italian, their Algerian driver, and five police officers were wounded but said to be “out of danger.” Al Arabiya, a satellite channel, broadcast an audiotape in which Al Qaeda’s North Africa affiliate claimed responsibility.