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Algeria Shocked By Documentary On Civil War

On September 29th, to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Charter for Peace, the Algerian national channel EN TV broadcast a fiercely documentary about the civil war. Opponents of the Bouteflika camp denounce an electoralist maneuver.

Algeria shocked by documentary on civil war
Screenshot of the documentary “Do not forget”

On September 29, 2017 was celebrated the 12th anniversary of the charter for peace and reconciliation in Algeria which had turned the page of the civil war in the country. On this occasion, the national television channel ENTV chose to broadcast a particularly raw documentary, entitled Do not forget , on these black years.

On the screen, images, mostly unpublished, of bodies of children and shredded corpses, are linked together by the gaze of viewers, many of whom were shocked by such unpacking of raw images . The conflict, which began in 1991 and lasted until 2002, has claimed between 150,000 and 200,000 lives.

After the violent scenes, a Bouteflika triumphant

The scenes of violence are interspersed with images showing villagers mourning their dead and organizing funerals. Then, it is President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who is shown on screen, in 2005, in full campaign for the adoption of the charter. The dramatic music that preceded it disappears and happy images of a calm and present Algiers appear: passers-by stroll the streets and rest in the public gardens, while a voice-over boasts the merits of national reconciliation.

According to AFP, part of the public opinion saw an electoralist maneuver on the part of camp Bouteflika. Some analysts, such as the French weekly Le Point , believe that the president of the country would begin to put in place his campaign to run for a fifth term.

The leader is effectively presented in his best light in the documentary, far from the image of the 80-year-old president, diminished by a stroke since 2013.

A poorly calibrated communication operation?

But the supposed effect may not have reached its objective and already voices are heard, which suggest that this “propaganda” operation, according to commentators quoted by AFP, will not play in favor of the president. According to Cherfia Khedar, president of the association of victims Djazaïrouna ( Our Algeria ), cited by the Afp, the images of the documentary “accentuate the pains of the victims of Islamist terrorism, never appeased, and deepens their trauma”.

Redouane Boudjemaä, a professor of political science in Algiers, told AFP: “It is a way of resuscitating fear of terrorism. The government wants to scare the Algerians. This is the beginning of the campaign for the 2019 presidential election. The message is clear: we must support those who have brought peace. ”

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