It took 33 years to see a military parade in Algeria. The country which celebrated its 60 years of Independence after 132 years of French colonization, announced the organization of a grandiose military parade to display the tanks, planes, and other equipment of the Algerian army. But, this moment long awaited by the Algerians, was not up to par.
To mark the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune wanted to think big. The Algerian media have announced that this historic military parade will be an opportunity to show the world, and especially Morocco, the Algerian military power.
“These moments have deep meaning. The Algerian people can see the development achieved by our army in terms of professionalism and mastery of technologies.said the Algerian president on the occasion.
After the military exercises on the borders with Morocco, and the heavy going-to-war atmosphere in Algeria, the country has chosen to make a greater show of force by exhibiting its finest war machines.
It was also a question of showing the Algerian people who denounced a military and undemocratic state during the Hirak since 2019, where the annual military expenditure went, which makes Algeria the most expensive country in terms of armament in the whole world. African continent.
Its budget allocated to armament is constantly increasing, thus, from 2012 to 2021, the dedicated envelope has increased by 16%. In 2012, Algerian military spending, which was $7.85 billion, represented 4.5% of GDP, and in 2020 Algeria spent $9.7 billion.
By way of comparison, Morocco, spent the same year 4.8 billion dollars on its armament, that is to say two times less than Algeria 10 years ago, indicates the world ranking published by the SIPRI institute.
Algeria is the first country that spends the most on armaments on the African continent, according to the same source. In 2021, Algeria ranked 26th in the world in terms of arms purchases.
It is the only African country to be part of the TOP40 countries that spend the most in the world in terms of armaments and all the other countries in the ranking have a GDP much higher than that of Algeria.
In 33 years of waiting and discretion, to create the event on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the independence of Algeria, the country was expected to unpack its acquisitions and show the people and the world where the money spent on defence.
The event was announced with great fanfare and world leaders were invited for the occasion, but in the end only a few presidents made the trip. These include Tunisian President Kais Saied, Nigerian Mohamed Bazoum, and Congolese Denis Sassou-Nguesso.
The parade began on the air where were exposed Su-30MKA, Su-24 fighters, Ilyushin transport planes and Russian-made Ilyushin transport planes, DC130, American planes.
T-55 and T-90 tanks also participated in the parade and ” native modifications of the turrets of the BTR-60 and 80 with the addition of anti-tank missile Kornet (Barq) made it possible to restore a new function to hundreds of armored vehicles that were going towards obsolescence“, notes the Algerian pro site Menadefense.
And to note the absence of Iskander ballistic missiles, the YJ-21 supersonic missiles, the armored Boxer, the Seeker drones, Yabhon United 40 and Flash, of CH-3 no CH-5. “For all this equipment and others the ANP has seen fit to keep them in their hangars”, estimates the site.
However, the Algerian regime wanted to show all the “splendour” and “strength” of its army, by exhibiting its best combat machines and acquisitions in recent years. The event was worth it, 60 years of independence, 33 years without any military parade…
The question is whether the Algerian army really has sophisticated equipment that it has preferred to keep in “hangars” or else the army’s budgets have been squandered by the generals who cling to power and pass the military spending ahead of other priorities.
The episode of imprisoned soldiers such as Major General Abdelkader Lachkhem, former head of the electronic communications, systems and warfare department, accused of having embezzled 2 billion dollars, partly suggests this track.
Menadefense also adds other criticisms to this military parade by noting an under-representation of soldiers on foot, the absence of air riflemen or sailors, CBRN units, special Gendarmerie or Police units or even intervention units of the Republican Guard.
Added to this is the lack of homage to “the exceptional work of the soldiers of the armored divisions or mechanized infantry who have chained, for several years, dozens of massive exercises”.
The site also accuses the regime of not allowing the private media to broadcast the event and criticized the coverage of the national channel which made a “retransmission to the realization more than catastrophic, a total ignorance of the importance of the various equipment and historical failures”.
Is further noted ” contempt also for the elements of the 104th and 116th RMO, the spearhead of the fight against terrorism and greater contempt for the helicopter pilots”.