Algiers, MINA – The former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika died on Friday at the age of 84, the country’s presidency said. Al Jazeera reported.
Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria’s war of independence against French invaders, had ruled the North African country for two decades before his resignation in April 2019. He stepped down after street demonstrations against his plans to run for a fifth term.
Algeria’s longest-serving leader has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.
After Bouteflika’s resignation, in a bid to end protests demanding political and economic reforms, the authorities launched an unprecedented corruption investigation.
The investigation led to the imprisonment of several senior officials, including Bouteflika’s brother and adviser.
Bouteflika is considered a national hero by his supporters, having fought on the battlefield in Algeria’s war of independence against France.
After Algeria’s independence from France in 1962, Bouteflika became Algeria’s first foreign minister and an influential figure in the Non-Aligned Movement.
As president of the UN General Assembly, Bouteflika invited Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to address the body in 1974. This was a historic step towards international recognition of the Palestinian cause.
Elected president in 1999, he successfully negotiated a ceasefire with Islamists and launched a national reconciliation process that allowed the country to restore peace. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)