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Algeria’s Acting Chief of Staff Calls for Combat Effectiveness to Face Border Threats

Algeria’s Acting Chief of Staff Calls for Combat Effectiveness to Face Border Threats

Wednesday, 18 March, 2020 - 12:30
A demonstrator carries a national flag during an anti-government protest in Algiers, Algeria March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Major General Saïd Chengriha, Algeria’s Acting Chief of Staff, called on the field forces for “the adequate and effective application of the combat preparation programs.”

Speaking on Tuesday at the headquarters of the field forces in the capital, on the occasion of the appointment of its deputy commander, Major General Ammar Othmania, Chengriha underlined the importance of military exercises to guarantee successful work and understand the combat preparation programs, in addition to facilitating the process of dealing with available advanced equipment.

The senior military officer spoke at length about the system of military training and field combat programs. According to military experts, his speech reflected the risks at the border, as a result of the ongoing war in Libya and the precarious situation in Mali.

On a different note, Human Rights Watch strongly criticized the arrest of Khaled Drareni on March 7, 2020 while covering demonstrations in Algiers.

The organization called on the Algerian authorities to stop arbitrarily arresting activists and release those prosecuted solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression or assembly. It also stressed the need to drop the charges against Drareni.

“Drareni’s unjustified prosecution is the latest example of Algerian authorities’ intolerance for dissent,” said Eric Goldstein, acting Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should end its efforts to restrict press freedom by criminalizing independent reporting,” he added.

Drareni is the founder of the Casbah Tribune website and the Algeria correspondent for French TV5 Monde. He also serves as the Reporters Without Borders monitor for Algeria. He is active in the protest movement, Human Rights Watch said.

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