Following weeks of mass protests, the 82-year-old Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been in power for well over two decades, announced his resignation. What this basically means is that Algeria that used to be considered a no-go country by Western intelligence communities due to the harsh stance that Algiers took on opposing their activities, has now shown to the world that it’s no less volatile than such countries as Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
Just like a number of other Arab states that fell victims of “color revolutions”, the initiators of the current insurgence took advantage of a series of miscalculations of the sitting government that would accumulate in the country over the years, among which one can find high unemployment rates among the rapidly growing urban population, widespread corruption, unresolved tensions among local ethnic groups and the imminent rise of the Islamist threat.
Even though the Bouteflika government would score many political points while combating radical Islamist militants during the period from 1991 to 2002, it is now bound to fall. This development looks particularly disturbing against the backdrop of the fact that Algiers managed to successfully navigate the troubled waters of the “color revolution craze” in the neighboring Tunisia and Libya. However, with the seasoned political strongman out the door, uncertainty is all that remains for Algeria, as there’s no way to tell how the emerging government is going to address the tasks at hand. Since the protesters perceive the above listed developments as their victory and now crave for a positive change that they believe to be well-deserved.
However, they may soon discover that the behind-the-scenes sponsors of these “revolutionary events,” namely the West, may have their own plans for Algiers, as Washington was desperate to subject it to its will for a considerable period of time. At some point those forces that remain hidden in the rapidly unraveling events managed to channel the growing frustration of the crowd into calls against the former political champion of this North African country – Abdelaziz Bouteflika, instead of criticizing the existing political system. After all, it must not be forgotten that it was Bouteflika who managed to ensure that his country escapes unscathed, when other regional players were falling one after another. Upon coming on top in the presidential race of 1999,