Ahmed Ben Bitour explains the waves of violence in an interview with El Khabar

Ahmed Ben Bitour explains the waves of violence in an interview with El Khabar

« We must change the system before it changes is necessary by violence »

« The verbal violence between Sunnis and Shiites abroad had its repercussions on the Ibadites in Algeria »

El Khabar, 31 may 2008

According to Ahmed Ben Bitour, the waves of popular anger experienced by the country reflect a tenacious desire to change the regime. He called for preparing pre-conditions for the transition to another situation « before the change is necessary imposed in violent forms. »

El Khabar: Many regions are experiencing waves of violent anger, which have caused dead and injured, and damage in schools. How do you explain that?

Ahmed Ben Bitour: It is regrettable. I remember when I announced to the press in June 2001 an initiative for ending the crisis in three stages over 17 years, I have ensured that the painful events that have the Kabylia were only a prelude to other events inevitably if we did not know yet the danger which threatens the region. I note that unfortunately nobody is aware of the danger levels, seven years after these incidents. As to my explanation of the series of waves of violence, I would say that the world and Algeria are experiencing changes of unprecedented rapidity. Algerian citizens, especially young people are aware of what’s happening in the country compared to other nations.

El Khabar: You come from Ghardaia and precisely Metlili, what do you see the reason for the spread of violence among some populations of South known for their calm and wisdom?

Ahmed Ben Bitour: There are reasons dating back to ancient times and others to the situation faced by the wilaya, including the northern part which is remote only 50 kms wells of oil of Hassi R’Mel. As for historical reasons, they are due to the existence of two during the current Maliki and the current Ibadhite. Their followers have always initiated contacts to cohabitation without any hiccups. However, we have seen in recent year’s dissemination of verbal violence between Sunnis and Shiites outside Algeria, which had its repercussions on the Ibadites inside. Unfortunately, institutions are not qualified to play their role in order to appease the atmosphere, and explain really thought Ibadite who lived in harmony with the Malikiste. Regarding the economic and social situation, its deterioration is due to the increase in people who flock to the wilaya, from rural areas of Laghouat and Djelfa, in search of work, given that the region is the closest to the oil wells of Hassi R’Mel. Unfortunately, they face a harsh reality that is unemployment.

El Khabar: « Do what you give credit to the speech which refers to » the involvement of foreign parties « in the crises of the country?

Ahmed Ben Bitour: Of course not! I do not support this argument, because otherwise it means that the state is totally absent in our country. And then these incidents have erupted in several parts of the country, in the extreme south-as is the case in Timimoun, inside the country, and in the west at Chlef and Oran. There are objective reasons and there is no need to flee ahead.

El Khabar: Can you think off the waves of popular power, and if you were in positions of responsibility, what would you do?

Ahmed Ben Bitour: A change of system is inevitable. From there, we must work to change quickly and prepare the conditions for its success in the interest of the Algerian people or change prevail by force and despair with what this entails as risks that lead to deviation. For me, I campaigned for preparedness conditions of a successful initiative for ending the crisis.


31-05-2008 Interview conducted by H. Yes / Translated by N.K