Algeria: coup plot by army officers exposed by journalist

Algeria: coup plot by army officers exposed by journalist

President Tebboune’s grip on power in Algeria is not as strong as analysts might have thought as an attempted coup plot was recently discovered, Maghrebi can reveal.

According to a reputable Algerian journalist, Algeria’s military had gone as far as planting weapons as part of the plan to fabricate a crisis aimed at toppling the Tebboune regime.

Hichem Aboud claims the cabal had cached weapons and ammunition some months ago in both the region of Kabylia and on the border between Algeria and Mali.

The respected journalist-in-exile posted a video on January 29, making the startling allegations of the weapons’ dumps claiming it was a part of an elaborate attempted coup against Tebboune, which the group would then blame on the Movement for Self-Determination of Kabylia (MAK) and the state of Mali.

Aboud, it must be stressed, does not back up his allegations. The former soldier-turned-journalist who is not Kabyle, claims that a military faction led by General Mehenna Djebbar had hidden the weapons and planned to announce their “discovery” and accuse the MAK of having obtained them from Malian authorities for purposes of starting “a civil war.”

He explains that the plan was to create an intensified crisis with the Kabyle group and in the Kabylia region, which, in turn, would present an opportunity to overthrow the President and his regime who would be accused of not being able to deal with the calamity.

READ: Algeria: Has Israel’s “impunity era” come to an end?

After the video came to light, Ferhat Mehenni, the President-in-exile of MAK, declared in a televised statement and on X (formerly Twitter) that the organization “has nothing to do with any weapons or any attempted physical violence.”

Mehenni, who had just recently been sentenced in absentia for ten years in prison by the Algiers regime, called what Aboud had revealed in the video a “plot” by the named faction of the Algerian military “against Tebboune, Kabylia, and Mali.”

“The putschists behind this criminal plan do not need to bloody Kabylia again to dismiss Tebboune on the basis of his incompetence,” he tweeted, something that he asserted is already evident in his “clownish speeches.”

Mehenni claimed that “any action of terrorist violence that the Algerian Services attribute to the MAK can only be the work of the latter.”

In 2021, Algeria designated the MAK a “terrorist” organization and since then has sentenced Mehenni to prison and/or death in absentia a number of times.

The US State Department in its 2021 country report on Algeria rejected that designation as “more political than security focused.”

MAK has denied that it is a terrorist group, saying it is a peaceful movement that decries violence of any kind, and that it is utilizing all possible legal means under both national and international law, as well as public diplomacy, to achieve its purpose of independence for the Kabyle people.

One of the bases for seeking independence has been Algeria’s egregious human rights violations, especially against Kabyles. MAK cites the regular arrests, mass trials, and incarceration of hundreds of activists, journalists, and regular citizens on trumped up terrorism and other fabricated charges.

It cites also the devastating fires that scorched Kabylia in the summers of 2021 and 2023, which it claims were deliberately set, after which MAK sought protection from genocide before the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and the Court of Justice in Paris.

The UN, the US State Department, and various human rights organizations have documented Algeria’s abuses. In December 2021, five UN Special Rapporteurs wrote a letter to the Algerian government calling out its disregard of fundamental human rights, particularly with respect to how the Algerian state defined “terrorism” and has weaponized anti-terrorism legislation to crack down on freedom of expression and assembly.

The US State Department, in addition to documenting the Algerian regime’s human rights violations in previous country reports, last month listed Algeria as one of the worst countries for religious freedom, adding it to its Special Watch List of countries engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom.


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