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18.06.2019 Algeria

Those who oppose military are 'enemies of Algeria': army head

By AFP
Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, Algeria's chief of staff and strongman since the April 2 resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.  By RYAD KRAMDI (AFP/File)
JUN 18, 2019 ALGERIA
Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, Algeria's chief of staff and strongman since the April 2 resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. By RYAD KRAMDI (AFP/File)

Military chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah said Tuesday that those who oppose the army were "enemies of Algeria", as the country's protest movement demands an overhaul of the entire regime.

Those with "grudges and animosity towards the army and its command... are undoubtedly enemies of Algeria", said Gaid Salah, the country's strongman since longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was ousted in April.

"Those who are knowingly trying to circumvent... terms of the constitution, do they realise what it means to suppress all state institutions?" he asked in a speech.

Gaid Salah said a constitutional void would amount to "the destruction of the foundations of the Algerian national state".

"It is unthinkable to proceed in the name of the people with the destruction of the achievements of the Algerian people, that is to say... the constitution."

Street protests of the type that led to Bouteflika's ouster have carried on with demonstrators demanding the fall of regime insiders and the establishment of independent institutions.

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