A former secretary-general of Algeria's National Liberation Front (FLN) has called upon President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to remove Amar Saadani, the organisation's current leader after describing him as "dishonourable", Quds Press reported on Friday. At the same time, Abdelaziz Belkhadem downplayed the importance of remarks by Saadani, who accused him of being collaborator with France.
"My state records are full of historic stances, in addition to the history of my martyred grandfathers," retorted Belkhadem. "When I was the head of the National People's Council and I received the head of the international relations council of the French National Front, I had a translator although I have a university degree in French. That was a show of respect for the Arabic language."
In addition, he said, when he was secretary-general of the FLN, he proposed a law that criminalised the French occupation. "I addressed the French: do not dream with your lost paradise because not only the Mediterranean is between you and the Algerians, but there is a sea of blood and hundreds of thousands of martyrs."
Belkhadem refused to reply directly to Saadani's accusations. "These accusations are very similar to those of a fool who wants to prove himself through creating hostility with others."
He fully expects that all the "the people of honour" in the FLN will deny Saadani's comments, which serve "neither Algeria, the FLN nor humanity."