Algeria's army chief of staff says military will keep country from violence: TV
Reuters, , Wednesday 1 May 2019


Algeria's army chief of staff said on Wednesday the military will ensure the country does not descend into violence, state TV said, as mass protests that prompted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit on April 2 continue.

Bouteflika's exit has not quieted protesters, who are now demanding the dismantling of an entire ruling elite entrenched for decades, a shift towards more democracy and a crackdown on systemic corruption and cronyism.

Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah said the ongoing marches showed there was consensus on how to get out of the crisis, the station said. He did not elaborate but some protesters have welcomed a push by Salah to prosecute members of the ruling elite close to Bouteflika.

The army remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, which produces oil and gas, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades. It has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people.

On Tuesday, Salah -- who helped push out Bouteflika after having him declared unfit for office -- said several big corruption cases would come to light in a crackdown on graft, the private Ennahar TV station said.

Hundreds of people demonstrated again in Algiers on Wednesday for more reforms, TV footage showed.

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