Ahmed Gaid Salah, Algeria’s Vice Minister of Defence and Chief of Staff, yesterday claimed that the army leadership has no political ambition and seeks only to serve the country.
In a speech at the military academy in Cherchell District in Tipaza Province, near Algerian capital Algiers, Salah stated:
“Our farthest ambition is to serve our country and be a sincere companion to this honest and authentic people, in order to overcome the crisis that our country is going through and achieve constitutional legitimacy so we can embark on solid ground and a sound and correct starting point.”
The Chief of Staff pointed out that the army expects a sense of understanding from the Algerian people, noting: “We expect our people to observe every step we take, every road we go into, every word we utter, every destination we go to, and every approach we take, not only throughout the country, but across every inch of the sanctified land of Algeria.”
He added: “If you are heading to the authentic Algeria for which millions were martyred, there is no doubt that you will meet, while going into the right destination, with the overwhelming majority of the authentic Algerian people.”
Salah also mentioned the various obstacles facing the army’s approach to solving the crisis, saying that “those behind these challenges are people who see every serious and patriotic work as a threat to their interests and the interests of their masters.”
“All intentions and approaches have become evident, so now the survival is for the fittest,” he added, stressing that the army will “accompany the people” until the country’s crisis ends.
Algeria has been gripped by demonstrations since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down on 2 April following months of mass protests. Since his resignation protests have continued, with people calling for the removal of any officials linked to the Bouteflika presidency.