Algeria keeps lid on social unrest --for now
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The angry and determined men marched on Algeria's Parliament, tossing aside metal police barriers in a bold display of defiance. But these were not disenfranchised youths or opposition leaders.
They were Communal Guards, state-armed militia on the front line of the country's long battle with Islamist extremists, and their protest served as an eloquent example of the breadth of social unrest in this gas-rich North African nation.
Algeria's leadership, riddled by corruption and at the mercy of the army, is sitting in a circle of fire, with a restive populace at home and pro-democracy uprisings in neighboring Tunisia and Libya that are shaking the Arab world to the core.
Two months of strikes, sit-ins and attempted protest marches are raising questions about whether Algeria, which waged a brutal battle against insurgents for nearly two decades, can satisfy myriad and mounting demands for jobs, housing, higher salaries, proper medical benefits - and, trickier still, answer calls to end the army's dominance and build a real democracy.
Sources: Washington Post
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