How Algerians Ousted Bouteflika

On the podcast: Algeria’s Arab Spring has been peaceful so far, but its future remains uncertain.

By , the executive editor for news and podcasts at Foreign Policy.
Algerian protesters wave a national flag as they take part in a demonstration in the capital of Algiers on May 3.
Algerian protesters wave a national flag as they take part in a demonstration in the capital of Algiers on May 3.
Algerian protesters wave a national flag as they take part in a demonstration in the capital of Algiers on May 3. RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images

The North African country of Algeria has received far less attention in recent years than its neighbors Libya and Tunisia.

That’s mainly because, for the last two decades, the country had been relatively stable under the leadership of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. But that all changed this year. In February, Algerians took to the streets demanding new leadership. Many had grown tired of the clique that had run the country for decades—a mix of military officers, the business elite, and the ruling National Liberation Front.

On April 2, Bouteflika agreed to step down. No blood was shed, but the future of the country remains uncertain. Dalia Ghanem, a resident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, grew up in Algeria during the civil war in the 1990s and returned to the country this year to take part in the protests. She’s our guest this week on First Person.

The North African country of Algeria has received far less attention in recent years than its neighbors Libya and Tunisia.

That’s mainly because, for the last two decades, the country had been relatively stable under the leadership of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. But that all changed this year. In February, Algerians took to the streets demanding new leadership. Many had grown tired of the clique that had run the country for decades—a mix of military officers, the business elite, and the ruling National Liberation Front.

On April 2, Bouteflika agreed to step down. No blood was shed, but the future of the country remains uncertain. Dalia Ghanem, a resident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, grew up in Algeria during the civil war in the 1990s and returned to the country this year to take part in the protests. She’s our guest this week on First Person.

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