Ukraine crisis is expected to enhance Algeria’s hand against the democratic movement
Algeria– A promising Algerian pro-democracy movement that began three years ago today and seemed set for renewal after the epidemic looks to be in serious peril, owing in part to the turmoil in Ukraine, which is more than 1,500 kilometers distant.
With Russian gas shipments at risk as a result of geopolitical maneuvering over the Ukraine crisis, and heating prices soaring across Europe, Algiers’ opaque dictatorship looks to be in control of the Hirak protest movement. Algeria has some of the world’s greatest energy reserves, ranking 10th in gas and 16th in oil. Hydrocarbons have long been the economic backbone of the nation of 44 million people, the biggest by landmass in Africa. Oil and gas account up about a third of GDP and 60 per cent of government income. It is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of gas.
Hirak, a coalition of civil society organizations and activists, deposed longstanding president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 2019 and is pushing for more changes. However, because to intensified repression and epidemic measures, the movement’s momentum had halted, and its weekly public protests had come to an end. “Hirak is not dead,” said Rachid al-Aouine, director of Shoaa, a human rights and advocacy organization in Algeria.