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Algerian Chief of Staff: The Army will be responsible

People attend a demonstration to protest against candidacy of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a 5th term in Algiers, Algeria on 4 March 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]
People attend a demonstration to protest against candidacy of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a 5th term in Algiers, Algeria on 4 March 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

Algerian Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah said that the army is ready for unexpected eventualities.

Salah, who is also Vice Minister of Defence, added that “the Algerian army is well aware of the security complications that some countries in our geographical environment are experiencing.”

“Everyone knows that we have been very committed to providing all the security conditions to the people and to Algeria,” Salah said on the sidelines of his visit to the Military Academy of Cherchell‎ in Tipaza Province, according to Russia Today (RT).

Salah had pledged not to let the country return to the years of hardships and pain, in reference to the years of civil war in the 1990s, which Algerians call the “dark decade.”

WATCH: Algerians speak up

He stressed that the army “will remain in control of the security situation,” as he put it.

Salah’s comments came after Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika submitted his candidacy file at the Constitutional Council, amid rising protests against his candidacy for a fifth term.

Bouteflika has been ruling the country since 1999. However, he suffered from a stroke in 2013, after which he became wheelchair-bound, and rarely appeared to the public.

Algerians protest president’s bid for 5th term – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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