Algeria's clemency law remains in effect preceding presidential elections
After more than 15 years of bloodshed and turmoil, Algeria is at the crossroads. For terrorist groups that wish to receive an olive branch, the Algerian government is encouraging them to turn in their weapons.
With the election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika as president, the situation changed. He decided to consecrate impunity for crimes under international law and other human rights abuses. He went as far as to muzzle open debate by criminalizing public discussion about the nation's decade-long conflict.
ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Algeria has been plagued by civil war that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. In order to restore democracy preceding the nation's presidential elections on April 17th, policy makers have decided to extend clemency to persuade terrorist groups to hand over their weapons.
Armed conflict between Algerian security forces and various Islamist rebel groups, raging since 1991 remains largely unsettled. Most agree that the security situation is not yet significantly resolved. Terrorist groups, aiming to institute the Islamic code of law of Sharia by the use of the force have resorted to murders and bomb attacks.
Algeria, an oil-rich North African nation wants this problem resolved. The clemency law has been praised and is considered by many to be the main solution to return Algeria to stability.
The nation's woes began in January of 1992. With the interruption by military coup of the first multi-party parliamentary elections of independent Algeria, won by the Islamic Salvation Front, or Front Islamique du Salut, Parliament was dissolved, the Constitution suspended and then President Chadli Benjedid was forced to resign.
Following this upended situation, Islamic opposition groups engaged in armed struggle against the country's regime, which they considered illegal.
However, with the election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika as president, the situation changed. He decided to consecrate impunity for crimes under international law and other human rights abuses. He went as far as to muzzle open debate by criminalizing public discussion about the nation's decade-long conflict.
He has recently called for the unity of all parts of Algerian society, in order to prevent the country from slipping into chaos.
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