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Algeria appeases protesters by lifting 19-year-old state-of-emergency

Algeria lifted its 19-year-old state of emergency Thursday in response to a key demand from anti-government protesters. Algeria has seen a number of pro-democracy rallies in recent weeks that have left five people dead and hundreds injured.


AFP - Algeria on Thursday lifted its state of emergency, 19 years after it was imposed, according to a decree published in the official gazette.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has "ordered the cancellation of the extension of the emergency measure put in place by presidential decree on February 9, 1992," said a statement published on the state newspaper.

His cabinet on Tuesday said the move was imminent after it adopted a draft order repealing the emergency measures, which the government adopted when Islamists waged a protracted guerrilla war following the cancellation of local election results in 1991.

Those results would have given a majority to the now-dissolved Islamic Salvation Front.

Bouteflika pledged three weeks ago to lift the state of emergency as demanded by the opposition following unprecedented protests last month that left five people dead and more than 800 injured.

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The state of emergency gave free rein to security forces that effectively served to repress political freedom.

The 1990s war turned into a bloodbath, killing up to 200,000 people, according to official figures.

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