An Algerian Military Purge as a Survival Strategy

MIN READOct 10, 2018 | 11:52 GMT

An Algerian soldier on patrol in the Tamanrasset Desert south of Algiers.

Algerian security members patrol in Tamanrasset desert, 2,000 kilometers south of Algiers on July 2, 2018. The top ranks of the powerful Algerian military have been reshuffled at the direction of the army's chief of staff.

(RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images)

A series of shake-ups has upended the leadership of Algeria's powerful security apparatus, with personnel reshuffles affecting the upper echelons of the country's military, police and security forces. The extent of and motives behind the ousters, unprecedented during the 19-year administration of President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, remain unclear, but their nature and timing give some indications of the intent behind them. Algeria's inner political workings remain opaque, making it difficult to know what exactly is unfolding in Algiers. But some of the details associated with the spate of military reorganizations point to a mutual effort by the army and the presidency to retain control....

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