By | February 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm | No comments | Africa, International Solidarity, Middle East, News

Thousands of police are reportedly being drafted into the Algerian capital ahead of planned pro-democracy marches, opposition groups have said.

Said Sadi, the head of the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), said authorities were moving to prevent Saturday’s protests in Algiers from taking place.

“Trains have been stopped and other public transport will be as well,” he told the AFP news agency.

According to Sadi, around 10,000 police officers were coming into reinforce the 20,000 that blocked the last protest staged on January 22, when five people were killed and more than 800 hurt in clashes.

Attempts to appease

The latest rally is being organised by the National Co-ordination for Change and Democracy (CNCD), a three-week-old umbrella group of opposition parties, civil society movements and unofficial unions inspired by the mass protests in Tunisia and Egypt.

Demonstrators in the oil-rich nation have been protesting over the last few months against unemployment, high food costs, poor housing and corruption – similar issues that fuelled the uprisings in other north African nations.

At least 12 people have set themselves alight in protest against the government since January, four of those dying.

Earlier this month, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president, said he would lift emergency powers, address unemployment and allow democratic marches to take place in the country, in a bid to stave off unrest.

However, protests in Algiers remain banned.

ALGIERS – An unemployed man of 36 who had set himself on fire in the town of El Oued, in the far east of Algeria, near the border with Tunisia, died Friday from his burns, we learned from his family.

Source: Al Jazeera
Algeria protesters break cordon – Africa - Al Jazeera English

Also reposted by nickglais on 2/11/2011 02:41:00 PM

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