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Power Struggle Between Algeria’s President Bouteflika and Head of Military Intelligence
The arrangement between Algeria’s President Bouteflika and the Algerian military intelligence all-powerful DRS, the Military Directorate of Intelligence and security, is in trouble.
Last January, a political earthquake shook the Algerian government, the removal and placement under judicial review of Sonatrach's president and four of its vice-presidents. It was unprecedented.

In Algeria, the state oil Monopoly Sonatrach is a real state within the state (120,000 employees, 98% of Algeria’s exports and 60% of its budget revenues). No one thought, until today, to intervene in this holy of holies, the state oil Business, not even the Muslim extremists, during Algeria's civil war, did not dare to interfere.
Through the now deposed ex-President of Sonatrach, it is the current oil minister, Mr. Chakib Khelil, a close ally of  president Bouteflika, who is in the crosshairs. Behind these maneuvers is the all powerful General Mediene, also known as “Toufik”, the Head of  the Military Directorate of Intelligence and security - DRS, (since 1990 ! )and the real boss in Algeria.
General Mediene, however, had supported president bouteflika in the 1999, 2004 and 2009 elections. It was a decisive support, so why the declaration of war and why now?
Lately, president bouteflika has crossed a double yellow line. First, the president appointed his own brother, Said bouteflika, as an Adviser to the Presidency and a possible successor.  "Apparently president Bouteflika has forgotten who made him King." Said a French Diplomat.
The Second issue, since last fall, the Algerian president has been making sensational statements against corruption …in "sensitive positions of responsibility", the type of statements that the Algerian military dislikes. And the response came quickly. The DRS, through selected investigations is going after President Bouteflika's friends.  The current oil minister has been invincible for a long time. Minister Khelil has had good relations with the Bush administration, especially with Dick Cheney. But with the advent of Barak Obama, everything has changed.  
The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said lately that the issues within Sonatrach were "a purely Algerian affair".


Article first published in French at
bachich
Tags:Power Struggle Between Algeria’s President Bouteflika and Head of Military Intelligence
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