Authorities crack down on jobless in Algeria’s restless south

“The situation is worrying, with dozens of arrests, clashes and scenes of violence,” Said Salhi, deputy head of the LADDH group, said.
Thursday 15/07/2021
Technicians stand at the Krechba gas treatment plant, about 1200 km south of Algiers. (REUTERS)
Technicians stand at the Krechba gas treatment plant, about 1200 km south of Algiers. (REUTERS)

ALGIERS – Algerian police have arrested dozens of unemployed young people in a crackdown after clashes broke out in several towns, a rights group in the north African country said on Thursday.

“The situation is worrying, with dozens of arrests, clashes and scenes of violence,” Said Salhi, deputy head of the LADDH group, said.

He deplored what he called the “closed door” attitude of the authorities over the recurring clashes.

“What is happening is a cry for help to the authorities to open a comprehensive political dialogue with the population,” Salhi said.

There have been clashes in the 100,000-strong southern oil town of Ouargla for a week. Young people have set tyres on fire and blocked public transport in other towns, local media reported.

Images posted on social media from Wednesday evening show clashes between unemployed people and riot police.

Despite being the capital of a district rich in hydrocarbon deposits, Ouargla also has a high level of unemployment among young people.

Demonstrations spread to governorates of El Oued and El Meghaïer, which were Wednesday the scene of protests organised by young people demanding jobs in the oil and gas companies active in the region, reported the daily El Khabar.