Algeria’s leaders have declared a three-day mourning period for former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose 20-year rule ended in disgrace when he was ousted from power amid huge street protests as he decided to seek a new term.
18 September 2021, 13:03
• 2 min reading
ALGIERS, Algeria-Algeria’s leader declared a three-day mourning period on Saturday for former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose 20-year rule, full of corruption, ended in disgrace when he was ousted during major street protests when he decided to seek a new term.
Bouteflika, who had been ill since a stroke in 2013, died on Friday at 84. His public appearances had been rare during the last years of his presidency, and he had not been seen since President Abdelmadjid Tebboune took office at the end of 2019.
Flags will be flown at half-mast during the mourning period, the president’s office said. The honors reflect Bouteflika’s role in Algeria’s brutal seven-year war for independence from France that ended in 1962. Those who fought are considered martyrs today.
The former president’s lawyer, Salim Salim Hadjouti, said Bouteflika was buried in an official ceremony at El Alia Cemetery, in the section where the revolution’s martyrs for independence are buried, a special honor.
Since Boutefika’s death, public television has not shown pictures of him, a clear sign that the authorities prefer not to go overboard with a farewell when the North African nation has turned past the Bouteflika era. Early in his term, Tebboune announced his policy of a “new Algeria”.
Tebboune has led a fight against corruption, including in the Bouteflika clan, when it emerged that a close circle of officials around the president enriched themselves and allegedly made decisions instead of the intimidating president. Bouteflika’s brother and special adviser Said was acquitted in January by a military court of appeal for allegedly plotting against the army and the state, but faces corruption charges.