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Algeria Lockdown Sparks Clashes between Security Forces, Youths in Slums

Algeria Lockdown Sparks Clashes between Security Forces, Youths in Slums

Saturday, 11 April, 2020 - 08:30
In Algiers, Algeria, a woman seen in an empty bus station. (Reuters)

Daily clashes are erupting between the Algerian security forces and hundreds of young people in slums that continue to breach lockdown measures.

Every day at 3 pm, at the beginning of curfew, police vehicles patrol the slums of the southern suburb of the capital, calling on the residents through loudspeakers to leave the streets.

Social media activists shared a video of violent scenes in the Malha district, south of the capital, where thousands of people live in small apartments housing many families.

The video shows young men throwing stones at police officers, refusing to return to their homes, which have become a “prison” for them, according to Reda Gili, a young unemployed man living in this neighborhood.

“I cannot stay at home for a long time. I have five sisters, in addition to my parents. Pressure at home is terrible. In normal days, it was unbearable, so what about now!” Gili told Asharq Al-Awsat in a phone call.

“Therefore, I ask the authorities to take into account the conditions of life in these apartments. They should think about us, who are unemployed and managing our informal trading in the markets to earn our living,” he added.

The areas of Korife and the northern banks of the Hrash Valley, with a high population density, are facing the same conditions. Clashes erupt daily between the youths and the security forces, who have received strict orders to arrest those breaching curfew.

The areas also face major problems with street vendors.

In most cases, sellers practice their work without face masks or gloves, and no one seems to be adhering to the distancing measures.

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