What is this old man on a wheelchair that young people today reject so well to Algeria. Bouteflika is this country rich but unable to transform, promising but tired, educated but undermined by unemployment, sovereignist but with elites who have, since the first gusts of revolution, acquired French, Swiss and Canadian nationalities while now their people in a forced Arabization that will have resulted in the French language, this spoils war according Kateb Yacine, a luxury product.
Of the living symbol that young Africans discovered in the newspapers of the time with a certain revolutionary romanticism, there remains Bouteflika only the caricature reproduced to satiety in the placards at the option of a particularly prolific Algerian humor. And yet, he was … a high school student in the National Liberation Army (NLA), a military wing of the National Liberation Front (FLN).
He was under his nickname Abdelkader Mali, the pragmatic facade of the romantic Boumediène among the people and the international showcase of the famous clan of Oujda. Elected deputy in 1962, at the age of 25, he was first Minister of Youth and Tourism the same year under the government of Ben Bella then Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1963, member of the central committee and the political bureau FLN. In 1974, he presided over the United Nations General Assembly.
Bouteflika will remain Foreign Minister until 1979, surviving the coup and intrigue. President Chadli Benjedid will dismiss him by appointing him Minister of State. Then it’s disgrace.
The crossing of the desert
Like most National Liberation Army fighters, Bouteflika, accused of extortion, will go into exile in 1981. At the end of the dark decade following the fall of Islamist 1988 and the Stopping the electoral process of 1992 by army tanks hostile to Islamists, Algeria plunges into a terrible black decade. The civil war will kill more than 100,000 people. A president says last chance, Mobamed Boudiaf, will be killed in June 1992 in Annaba, after barely 6 months of presidency. It was then that the old guard of the FLN turned to his missi dominicu, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who no longer had the rebellious wick and had, over the years of purgatory, taken a respectable fatness that completed, with his prominent mustache and its controversial program of national reconciliation, to make it the man of the situation.
Elected in 1999 as an independent candidate, with more than 73% of votes (his main opponents had boycotted the vote), he put an end to the war with the law on civil concord adopted by referendum. More than 6,000 men leave the maquis and lay down their arms.
The amnesty offered to the Islamists in exchange for peace prevailed justifying its wide reelection in 2004, with 85% of the votes. From this date, the stanilian trend will not be denied for the one who concentrates the presidency and the Ministry of Defense in his hands. The providential man wants to perpetuate himself. It is a constancy in the political history of humanity.
The lock of both warrants jumps in 2008 in an acclamation vote of apparatchiks who believe that without Bouteflika is the deluge. The re-elections in 2009 and 2014 condemn all emergency exits to a barricaded power and disconnected from the harsh reality of the masses. The dismantling of intelligence services (the powerful DRS) in 2013 is part of this gradual isolation.
The 2013 cardiovascular accident suddenly reminds Bouteflika that only institutions are perennial. The rest of the long career of the mediator between Ethiopia and Eritrea was played in a few weeks between a Swiss hospital, private jets, limousine with tinted windows and declarations and against declarations.
Another great man who thwarted all the wiles of power but failed to measure the quarter of an hour too much, the moment that would have transformed any autocrat into Ceauseacu.
The former and proud Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had the privilege of organizing at the age of 26 the summit of non-aligned and various African festivals and conferences, the baron of the union of African heads of state, who saw the cream of the continent parade in Algiers, in the image of his country, his elites gentrified and cloistered in fortified residences, in the impasse.
Prisoner of the militaro- bureaucratic nomenklatura of which he is nevertheless one of the founding fathers, Bouteflika had the reflex of the apparatchiks to go to cure in Switzerland, country of banking secrecy and … medical. The Swiss mountain acts as a safe for disillusioned revolutionaries, often with a replacement nationality and several offshore accounts. The retro-commissions of the big business (Khalifa, Sonatrach, Autoroute Est-Ouest) sleep on the arc enema.
Certainly, the revolutionary flame is still maintained, serving as a justification for the financial chasm of the Sahara conflict and the manna-gas that serves to defend positions in Addis Ababa and buy peace in Algiers. But, no more Lenin’s statue yesterday in Moscow, on the Red Square, on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, than that of the Mujahid (Resistance) today in the center of Algiers, the symbols of the revolution are no longer worshiped.
On the contrary, the heroes are vilified and forced to take the door of service, ultimate possibility not to suffer the fate of the colossal representation of Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
In these historical moments where the anger of the street blows like a Hurricane, the system, always him, tries to reinvent itself by joining the people to, with an accusing finger, to designate the scapegoat: it is still and always the opaque and intriguing entourage of the Caliph. Haro on the clan that made Bouteflika bid and resigned. The army gives itself the beautiful role, seeking to be on the right side of the story. The war for power is well underway while Bouteflika, taken hostage, negotiates a difficult exit from history.
What a crank come back from a man who incarnated in his time, the highest aspirations of non-aligned countries. But like all history, that of Algeria like that of Bouteflika ends on pragmatic considerations: what have you done with all your strength, your wealth and your dreams of independence? There will be no answer to this question. After 20 years of power, the young revolutionary he made and the old political laborer he always was joined in a solemn moment, April 3, 2019, to present a letter of goodbye, him or others , to the Algerians of which here is the entirety.
« In the name of Allah, the Clement, the Merciful,
Prayer and peace on His messenger, his people and his companions until the day of the last judgment,
My dear sisters, My dear brothers,
By leaving office, I can not finish my presidential course without sending you an ultimate message so as not to leave the national political scene on a separation which would deprive me of asking forgiveness from those, among the children of my country, to whom I would, without wanting to, have failed in my duty despite my deep commitment to serve all Algerians and Algerians, without distinction or exclusivity.
Now that I have ended my fourth term, I leave office with the collaboration we have had together, with dedication and selflessness, and by which we have added milestones to our national edifice and achieved some the goals we aspired to in terms of dignity and greatness, thanks to all who helped me among the children of our country.
Algeria will soon have a new president, and I pray Allah to guide his steps to pursue the realization of the aspirations and expectations of his brave children, relying on their sincere dedication and determination in the contribution, now, serious and tangible. the completion of the construction of their country by rolling up their sleeves and the relevance of their ideas and citizen vigilance.
Indeed, despite the tense situation since February 22, I have been constantly confident, and I give thanks to Allah, that the national process will not stop and that will come those who will continue his drive towards horizons of progress and prosperity by granting, and this is my wish, special attention to young people and women to enable them to access political, parliamentary and administrative functions.
My confidence is great in their ability to help meet the challenges facing our nation and build its future.
My dear sisters, My dear brothers,
Today a simple citizen, the fact remains that I remain proud of my contribution to the fact that Algeria has entered the 21st century in a better situation and that I welcome the remarkable progress made in all domains, in favor of the Algerian people who have done me the honor of being its president, for twenty years.
And since everything has an end, I say goodbye to you even if it is not easy for me to express to you all the sincerity of my feelings.
The words can not suffice to express my gratitude to the majority of you for the hands that have been extended to me and for the signs of affection and respect that have been shown to me.
I voluntarily accepted the supreme office of our country in order to complete the missions that Allah has helped me to assume since my accession, as Djoundi, to the glorious National Liberation Army and to the first post-war phase. independence, but also by fidelity to the oath made to our valiant Chouhada. I have spent the last twenty years in your service, and God is witness to my sincerity and loyalty.
The days and the years have succeeded one another, sometimes lean and sometimes prosperous, giving rise to the actions that have been mine, some satisfactory and others less, the peculiarity of human action being that it is always perfect.
Nothing ever being eternal in life, I leave the political scene without sadness or fear for the future of our country. I remain confident that you will continue, with the new leadership of the country, the process of reform and action to ensure greater prosperity and security for our country, thanks to the valor, ambition and optimism of our country. our youth, the beating heart of our Nation.
My dear sisters, My dear brothers,
You were the best brothers and sisters, the best assistants and companions and I spent, with you and among you, the richest years of my career in the service of our country. The fact of retiring from home now is not a rupture of the bonds of affection between us, let alone the forgetting of my memories with you. You will always be deep in my heart.
I thank you all for the most valuable achievement of my office at the head of our country, the pride and honor you have filled me and which have been my leitmotif to serve you when I was in good condition and even being sick.
The error being human, I beg your pardon for any failure, by word or gesture, towards you.
I invite you to remain faithful to the duty of respect and reverence for those who have signed the miracle of our national liberation, whether they are Chouhada or Mujahideen still alive. In the same way that I urge you to remain united, to never divide yourself and to be up to the responsibility of preserving the message of our valiant Chouhada.
« Among the believers are men who have been sincere in their commitment to Allah. some of them have reached their end, and others are still waiting, and they have not varied at all « (verse 23, El-Ahzab).
Glory and eternity to our Chouhada « .