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Algeria: Hirak carries on with protests, despite internal divisions

By Rania Hamdi
Posted on Thursday, 1 April 2021 11:56

A woman holds an Algerian flag as Algerians demonstrate in Algiers to mark the second anniversary of the Hirak movement, Monday Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

Algeria’s grassroots protest movement, known as Hirak, has not petered out, but it has been struggling to find new ways to articulate its message and structure itself. Meanwhile, ideological discord has taken root.

As of 16 February, the date marking the second anniversary of a movement that led to the ouster of then president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Friday marches have resumed in much of the country, bringing thousands of Algerians out into the streets.

While the fresh round of demonstrations was seen as commemorative in nature, the fact that they are taking place week after week shows that there is a lingering sense of dissatisfaction among protesters, who feel the regime has failed to address all their demands. This sentiment has become all the more acute following a crackdown on 26 March that resulted in several dozen arrests throughout the country, according to human rights groups.