Veteran of Algeria’s conflict for independence dominated the North African nation for twenty years earlier than his resignation in April 2019.
Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has died at 84, the nation’s presidency stated on Friday, greater than two years after he stepped down below stress from mass protests and the military.
Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria’s conflict for independence, had ruled the North African nation for twenty years earlier than his resignation in April 2019 after avenue demonstrations rejecting his plan to hunt a fifth time period.
The longest-serving Algerian chief had not often been seen in public earlier than his departure since a stroke in 2013.
After Bouteflika’s resignation, in a bid to finish the protests demanding political and financial reforms, authorities launched unprecedented investigations into corruption, resulting in the imprisonment of a number of senior officers, together with Bouteflika’s highly effective brother and adviser, Stated.
Bouteflika is taken into account a nationwide hero by his supporters, having fought on the battlefield throughout Algeria’s conflict for independence from France.
After Algeria’s independence from France in 1962, former President Bouteflika grew to become Algeria’s first international minister and an influential determine within the Non-Aligned Motion.
As a president of the UN Common Meeting, Bouteflika invited former Palestinian chief Yasser Arafat to deal with the physique in 1974, a historic step in the direction of worldwide recognition of the Palestinian trigger.
He additionally demanded that China be given a seat at the United Nations, and railed in opposition to apartheid rule in South Africa.
Within the early Eighties, he was accused of corruption and went right into a self-imposed exile after the demise of ex-President Houari Boumediene. He settled in Dubai, the place he grew to become an adviser to a member of the emirate’s ruling household. Expenses of corruption in opposition to him had been later dropped.
He returned dwelling within the Nineteen Nineties when Algeria was being ravaged with a conflict between the military and armed fighters that killed at least 200,000 folks, successful an election with the backing of the army.
Elected president in 1999, he managed to barter a truce with the Islamists and launched a nationwide reconciliation course of permitting the nation to revive peace.
Throughout his first years in workplace, he led the nation into an financial increase, sparking growth nationwide.
He additionally managed to carry the nation collectively in the course of the Arab Spring.
When protests erupted starting in 2011, his authorities responded by creating hundreds of small companies. However regardless of the initiative riots continued.
When he gained a mandate for a second time period in 2004, he modified the structure to run for a 3rd time period. And regardless of deteriorating well being, he modified the structure as soon as once more to safe a fourth time period.
Western leaders thought-about Bouteflika an ally in combating armed teams in North Africa, and his authorities fought al-Qaeda and different associated teams.
Bouteflika was blamed for costing civilian lives when he ordered the army in 2017 to storm a fuel plant within the Algerian desert in an effort to rescue lots of of hostages held by a bunch affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Bouteflika’s grip on energy began to slide when he introduced his bid for a fifth time period in February 2019, sparking enormous demonstrations not seen for the reason that protests for independence in 1962.
For weeks, the protests demanded that Bouteflika and his allies resign.
Bouteflika tried to appease protesters by reversing his choice to hunt one other time period and suspending the elections, saying he would keep on till a brand new structure was adopted. However it was not sufficient to cease the revolt.
The protests continued and the army stepped in, ending Bouteflika’s authorities.