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Algeria: The unseen power of the generals

To understand why there was no Algerian spring, you need to know that in Algeria, politics is subservient to the army that was born out of the struggle for independence.

The People’s National Army (ANP), together with the Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS), hold the reins of government and the economy through oil and gas revenues. The President, Prime Minister and members of Parliament have very little influence over the direction of the country.

The social unrest seen in Algiers in April 2011 ended in a failed revolution. The heavy police presence in the streets of the capital brought back memories of the decade of terrorism when 100,000 to 150,000 were killed, a period which still haunts people. Algerians fear that political disruption will end in another bloodbath.