Urgent Call to the International Community and Institutions to prevent Algeria from sinking into chaos

Urgent Call to the International Community and Institutions to prevent Algeria from sinking into chaos

2 May 2001

Herewith a call dispatched today to: Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UNO Mrs. Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America Göran Persson, President of the European Union, Prime Minister of Sweden Javier Solana Madariaga, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO, and Mr. Antoine Gutères, President of Socialists International, Prime minister of Portugal.

Following the provocations and murders perpetrated in cold blood by the police forces – particularly of the paramilitary gendarmes – against young unarmed demonstrators in Kabylia, the number of dead and injured are multiplying and resumes dangerously the cycle of hatred, revenge and killings.

This new national tragedy has just been transplanted on a war with no name, no images, no internal or external recourse and which is at its tenth year. Total impunity covers this pitiless repression, which does not even have the excuse of the struggle against armed Islamist groups. It provokes deep feelings of outrage and revolt against the pouvoir, throughout all the regions of the country.

A mighty will of solidarity has taken hold of the Algerian youth, who constitute three-fourths of the population, and who are the principal targets of organized murders as well as the economic, social and cultural consequences of a politics of eradication based on the old schemes and manipulations which are reminiscent of the orthodoxy of security of totalitarianism which have bled Humanity.

The address of the Algerian Chief of State, far from reestablishing trust and giving back hope to the population with the announcement of a peaceful exit from the crisis through credible and concrete measures, has on the contrary exacerbated the discontent and the radicalization of the population.

Algiers, the capital, represents a particularly explosive focus of tensions, with an uncontrollable spreading effect. Only responsible and peaceful demonstrations can provide an outlet to and reduce, even eliminate these tensions.

Thus, our party – The Front of the Socialist Forces (FFS) – as well as numerous actors, lucid and responsible, of the civil society have requested of the competent high authorities the authorization to allow all these youth, who are worried about the absence of any perspectives, to freely express their thirst for peace, social justice, democracy, and liberty. This peaceful demonstration is due on Thursday, May 3rd in Algiers.

However, it is with anxiety that we see a gigantic military and police apparatus being put in place, not to ensure order intelligently, but, on the contrary, to terrorize and discourage, in a first stage, the demonstrators; then, in a second stage, to repress them in a blood bath which risks being more frightening and catastrophic than the repression of October 1988.

Therefore, I have the honor to request you take – individually and collectively – preventive initiatives to block the irreparable, and to publicly warn the authorities, the military and police commands against the arbitrary and massive use of weapons of war.

It is time that an end be put to the politics of non-assistance to people in danger, which has lasted for a decade. And which, by encouraging impunity, blows on the deadly torment and risks plunging my country in chaos .

With all my respects and high consideration,
The 2nd of May 2001
Hocine Aït-Ahmed
President of the Front of Socialist Forces
Front Des Forces Socialistes
56, Souidani Boudjema – Alger, Algeria
Tel: 213/21694141; Fax: 213/21694145

Infomappe 16