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Vol 62 No 22

Published 4th November 2021


Deep State in plain sight

Le pouvoir had a reckoning with Islamism long before the Arab Spring and still dominates despite Hirak’s efforts at revolution

Algeria's 'Deep State' has never gone away. Popular unrest decided le pouvoir (the powers-that-be) in favour of overseeing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's removal and throwing his kleptocratic clan to the wolves, but it has held on to the model of military/security-led rule. Bouteflika was, indisputably, a major historical figure – as both Ahmed Ben Bella and Houari Boumedienne's Foreign Minister from 1963 to 1979, and then as President for 20 years. But he died last month without the lavish honours that once would have been expected, reflecting the disgrace of his final years.

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