The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

DATE=7/4/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251411 TITLE=ALGERIA/MILITANTS (S/L) BYLINE=LISA BRYANT DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: ALGERIAN PRESIDENT ABDELAZIZ BOUTEFLIKA GRANTED AMNESTY SUNDAY TO THOUSANDS OF PRISONERS IMPLICATED IN TERRORIST ACTIVITIES. FROM CAIRO, LISA BRYANT REPORTS THE MOVE CAME ONE-DAY BEFORE ALGERIA CELEBRATES ITS INDEPENDENCE DAY. TEXT: ISSUED IN AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT, THE AMNESTY MAY MARK THE NEW ALGERIAN GOVERNMENT'S FIRST SIGNIFICANT STEP TOWARD REACHING A POSSIBLE SETTLEMENT WITH SOME ISLAMIST REBEL GROUPS. IT IS UNCLEAR HOW MANY PRISONERS WILL BE RELEASED UNDER THE AMNESTY. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THE AMNESTY WILL NOT APPLY TO THOSE CONVICTED OF RAPE OR VIOLENT CRIMES. PARDONS MAY COVER THOSE SUSPECTED OF FINANCING OR OTHERWISE SUPPORTING TERRORISTS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT COMES JUST TWO-DAYS BEFORE ALGERIA'S PARLIAMENT DEBATES A PEACE PLAN BEING DISCUSSED BY THE BOUTEFLIKA GOVERNMENT. THE DRAFT LEGISLATION, WHICH LAWMAKERS ARE EXPECTED TO RATIFY, WOULD OFFER MILITANTS AMNESTY IN STAGGERED STAGES, DEPENDING ON THE EXTENT OF THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN TERRORIST ACTIVITY. THE LEGISLATION WOULD THEN BE UP FOR A NATIONAL REFERENDUM. MR. BOUTEFLIKA, WHO TOOK OFFICE IN APRIL ON THE PROMISE OF RESTORING PEACE, SAYS HE WILL RESIGN IF IT IS VOTED DOWN. /// REST OPT /// SUNDAY'S SWEEPING PARDONS APPEAR TO BE A RECONCILIATION GESTURE AIMED AT THE "ISLAMIC SALVATION ARMY", A MILITANT GROUP THAT DECLARED A CEASEFIRE IN 1997. THE SALVATION ARMY IS THE ARMED WING OF THE "ISLAMIC SALVATION FRONT", WHICH TOOK THE LEAD IN ALGERIA'S 1992 ELECTIONS. THE GOVERNMENT CANCELLED THE ELECTIONS, SPARKING WAVE OF BLOODSHED IN ALGERIA THAT BY OFFICIAL RECKONING HAS CAUSED THE DEATHS OF 100-THOUSAND PEOPLE. THE FRONT HAS MADE CONCILIATORY MOVES IN RECENT WEEKS. BUT ANOTHER MILITANT ORGANIZATION, THE ARMED ISLAMIC GROUP, HAS VOWED TO CONTINUE ITS STRUGGLE AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. (SIGNED) NEB/LB/DW/RAE 04-Jul-99 1:49 PM EDT (1749 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list