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Algeria

Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah

Date of Birth: 13 January 1940
Place of Birth: Batna


Displaying 1-10 out of 23 results.

Waiting on the general

It seems a very long time since Algeria-watchers questioned whether a political beast with ambitions to control the military/security establishment and its 'deep state' structures – known in Algeria as le pouvoir ('the powers-that-be') – was lying within the unlikely figure of Deputy Defence Minister and Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah...

In the months since February security force décideurs have been toppled along with ex-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika his omnipresent brother Saïd Bouteflika four-time premier Ahmed Ouyahia and a number of crony business kingpins yet Gaïd Salah has not only retained control of the army but has been calling the shots within the interim government and an empowered judiciary (AC Vol 60 No 7 Protests flush out the old guard & Vol 60 No 13 Rounding up unusual suspects)...

Gaïd Salah's departure is a central demand of Hirak (The Movement) protesters who have filled the streets every Friday since 22 February...

Instead Gaïd Salah has moved centre-stage leading a social media activist to comment on the eve of the Algerian national football team's first African Cup of Nations (Afcon) final for 27 years that the result could be 'critical for the general's future… If we lose the crowd could finally lose its commitment to peaceful protest and turn on the General'...

The army was not deployed to control any backlash as Hirak has largely stuck to its impressive non-violent stance; indeed an attempt to intimidate protesters by organising army live-fire exercises rebounded and Gaïd Salah quickly learned to move more cautiously...

Efforts to involve the former ruling Front de libération nationale (FLN) and Rassemblement national démocratique (RND) parties have won demonstrators' scorn; in recent weeks that dialogue's coordinator Parliament Speaker Karim Younes has been almost as vilified in popular chants as Gaïd Salah himself...

Salah's biddingMany believe Gaïd Salah is pulling the strings...

'They know Gaïd Salah is the one with power at present so they will do his bidding ' commented once close observer...

With so little settled for the long-term Gaïd Salah's position is powerful but potentially vulnerable...

Gaïd Salah is well aware that his rival former military security chief Major General Mohammed 'Tewfik' Medienne kept files on such issues; indeed the chief-of-staff has seized many of them (AC Vol 60 No 7 Protests flush out the old guard)...

To shore up his position Gaïd Salah loyalists have been appointed at the top of the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (DSI) military 'counter-espionage' agency...

General Wassini Bouazza was quickly appointed DSI head in April after Gaïd Salah managed to sack previous DSI chief General Lakhdar Abdelkader's boss and Bouteflika clan security supremo General Athmane 'Bachir' Tartag...

Bouazza held a senior post in Gaïd Salah's fief the Ministry of National Defence rather than having the usual military security background...

While Gaïd Salah has more of his men in place it will be trickier to create a political configuration that meets some Hirak demands while largely keeping the traditional structure in place...


Rounding up unusual suspects

The remnants of the old guard running Algerian politics led by Lieut-Gen Ahmed Gaïd Salah have imprisoned them to convince the sceptical Hirak protest movement that it can carry out a clean sweep...

Gaïd Salah's former friends in the business elite have been warned...


'Roll more heads'

Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of Staff Lt Gen Ahmed Gaïd Salah is continuing a purge of Algeria's elite to try to persuade demonstrators who have been filling the streets each Friday since 16 February that the military and courts can continue to clean up a rancid system following the Bouteflika clan's demise (AC Vol 60 No 6 A spring in the step)...

Protestors have been adamant that the '3Bs' – Bensalah recently resigned head of the Constitutional Council Tayeb Belaïz and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui – should all go along with Gaïd Salah himself...


Protests flush out the old guard

A situation le pouvoir appeared to have under control has now reversed possibly irrevocably despite the manoeuvres of key power-brokers led by Vice Minister of Defence and Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah (AC Vol 60 No 2 A stasis of emergency)...

Gaïd Salah's efforts to assert control point to business as usual after Bouteflika but it is not clear if even he is really in charge...

The reshuffle on 31 March is widely believed to have been the result of a compromise between the 'Bouteflika clan' and its once most devoted member Gaïd Salah...

As the regime's Plan A (Bedoui's first interim government) was replaced by Plan B (a new interim government) on 31 March Lamamra was booted out and with no new deputy PM Gaïd Salah is formally number two in the administration and probably now first among Algeria's informal but more powerful décideurs...

Gaïd Salah's eye-catching demand on 26 March that Article 102 be invoked to remove Bouteflika followed...

Having dropped his much-vaunted 'blind loyalty' to Bouteflika Gaïd Salah retains the defence portfolio in Bedoui's sticking-plaster administration...

Gaïd Salah's attempt to seize the initiative was accompanied by Bachir Tartag handing in his resignation from the Direction des Services de Sécurité (DSS) pointing to traditional faction fights within le pouvoir...

His replacement Maj Gen Mohammed 'Youssef' Bouzit was previously head of foreign intelligence and is said to be close to Gaïd Salah...

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A spring in the step

The group – which also includes former prime ministers Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouhiaya employers' federation boss Ali Haddad and chief of staff General Ahmed Gaïd Salah – seriously underestimated the extent to which they have lost credibility particularly among young Algerians or the strength of the winds of change blowing through Algeria...


A stasis of emergency

Allies of Saïd have been promoted in recent reshuffles of a military/security establishment still dominated by veteran Vice Minister of Defence and Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah and Security Services Coordinator Major General Athmane 'Bachir' Tartag...

Gaïd Salah underlined this point when he told the Cherchell military academy last July that 'the Armée nationale populaire is an army which knows the limits to its constitutional missions and it is out of the question that it would become involved in partisan and political issues'...


The sick men of North Africa

Bouteflika's shadow still looms large with policy decrees appointments and political manoeuvring emerging in his name from his medicalised suite in the Zeralda presidential palace courtesy of presidential brother Saïd Bouteflika and a phalanx of loyalists led by Vice-Minister of Defence and Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah and Security Services Coordinator Major General Athmane 'Bachir' Tartag...

Pre-election feverMonths of appointments and purges of the senior ranks orchestrated by the triumvirate with Gaïd Salah pulling the strings say as much about pre-election political dynamics as they do about fallout from the El Bouchi affair...

There was shock in August when reports emerged that Gaïd Salah had ordered investigations into fake travel expenses and other alleged abuses by senior officers including ex-Gendarmerie commander Menad Nouba the 1st 2nd and 4th Military Region commanders – Lahbib Chentouf Saïd Bey and Abderrazak Cherif – and MND finance director Boudjemaâ Boudouaour...

Military mattersAmid mounting criticism of his command of the armed forces Gaïd Salah has made visits to the regions to try to improve his image...


Dead in the water

Ahmed Gaïd Salah installed (in Bouteflika's name) a new Gendarmerie commander General Ghali Belekcir on 4 July...


Cold war and glacial change

Ahmed Gaïd Salah the nominal Deputy Defence Minister who has de facto control of Algeria's security services...

He spent time at the Zeralda residence in private conversation with Bouteflika and then with Gaïd Salah where thorny subjects included another French appeal for Algeria to offer more help in Mali – Algeria still refuses to supply troops or back the G5 multinational Sahel counter-terrorism alliance...

Gaïd Salah 78 is thought to have ambitions of his own...


The state stays captured

Ahmed Gaïd Salah but if he was providing political cover it clearly wasn't enough to save the premier...


Displaying 1-10 out of 23 results.