Algeria to lift 19-year state of emergency

February 23rd, 2011 - 2:05 am ICT by BNO News  

ALGIERS (BNO NEWS) — Algeria’s cabinet on Tuesday adopted an order to lift the nearly two-decade state of emergency, the official APS news agency reported.

A statement from the Council of Ministers said that the state of emergency will be lifted by an order which entry into force is imminent.

Earlier this month, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said he would end the state of emergency, which was imposed in 1992 during the brutal civil war that killed hundreds of people.

Demonstrators have been demanding the lifting of the state of emergency, which bans protests and rallies. On Saturday, Algerian security forces prevented about 2,000 demonstrators from participating in an anti-government march through the capital.

Bouteflika instructed the government to tackle “without delay” the elaboration of texts that will allow the State to continue fighting terrorism. He said the state of emergency had been imposed “for the sole purpose of combating terrorism, and this is the only reason that has justified maintaining it on a legal basis,” according to the state news agency.

The protests in Algeria began one day after Egyptian president Hosny Mubarak was forced to step down after 30 years in power. In January, Algeria experienced several days of rioting over rising food prices, poverty and high unemployment, in which at least three people were killed and hundreds injured. There were also at least three cases of self-immolation to protest the economic conditions.

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