Since Monday, forest fires have ravaged Algeria and have killed more than 75 people according to the latest figures. Thursday evening, four days after the outbreak of these fires, the Algerian president finally spoke out in the face of the people’s anger which flared up. Abdelmadjid voluntarily refused invaluable aid from Morocco as the EU mobilized all its canadairs in Turkey and Greece.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune sent a message to the Nation on Thursday evening, broadcast on national television. In his speech, he tried to appease the anger of Algerian citizens, left to their own devices since the start of this disaster, but faithful to himself and to the communication of the Algerian military institution, his message mainly carried on attacks and invective addressed to third parties, without ever taking responsibility for current events.
The criminal track favored by Algeria
Indeed, the Algerian president affirmed that these fires were caused perhaps in part by the heat wave which hit the Mediterranean region but also and above all and by criminal hands. On Tuesday, Algerian public radio announced the arrest of three “arsonists” in Medea and a fourth was arrested in Annaba, according to the official Algerian Press Service (APS) agency.
Since the start of this natural disaster, it is the Algerians who have organized themselves to come to the aid of the affected populations by providing them with medical aid, equipment and medicines to treat their burns, food, drinking water, blankets. , in an almost total absence of the state.
Prime Minister Aimene Abderrahmane, who was sent there, assured that the State had everything in place to allow a return to normal life. But concretely, on the ground, the battle against the fire was fought with bare hands, without the necessary means and the toll of the territories ravaged by the fire are heavy, just as much as that of the loss of human lives.
If the heat of over 45 degrees up to 50 degrees in the region and the wind are responsible for these fires which have spread to other countries in the region such as Turkey and Greece, Algeria, the authorities have asserted the next day that their origin was criminal.
However, the Kabyles on the internet expressed from the first day of the fires of the reserves and expressed certain elements. According to testimonies, the day before the outbreak of the fires in Kabylia, helicopters flew over the area, and the fires were started the next day, more than a hundred, and all at the same time.
Tebboune ignores aid from Morocco
Appeals for solidarity are circulating on social networks, in particular to collect food, medicines and help with the delivery of water, in order to fight against fires.
Since Tuesday, Moroccans have mobilized to alert on this tragedy and have given themselves the word to fill the online jackpots to help their Algerian brothers. On social networks, the majority of influencers and opinion leaders have called for help to the victims by sharing links to make donations.
On Wednesday, King Mohammed VI also made two canadairs available to help put out the forest fires ravaging the country, on condition that Algeria agrees, since Morocco with its planes cannot afford to enter. in Algerian airspace without prior agreement, even for humanitarian reasons. But this call went unheeded.
King Mohammed VI gave his instructions to the Ministers of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs, in order to express to their Algerian counterparts, the availability of the Kingdom of Morocco to help Algeria to fight the forest fires which are ravaging several regions of the country. country ”, indicated the Moroccan diplomacy, Wednesday.
“Two Canadairs were mobilized to participate in this operation, with the agreement of the Algerian authorities”, adds the text, which follows a historic speech by the sovereign, on the occasion of the Feast of the Throne, in which he affirms that “Algeria’s security and stability, and the tranquility of its people are organically linked to the security and stability of Morocco,” once again reaching out to Algeria to settle disputes.
However, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune preferred to let his people die rather than accept aid from Morocco, while the Algerian population has expressed its willingness to receive aid from the kingdom, as evidenced by the many messages of thanks and appeals. to accept this help.
Faced with criticism and the great anger of the bereaved country at this irresponsible attitude, it was not until two days later that the Algerian president reacted, by sending his televised message to the Algerians to give them an account of the situation.
In attempting to exonerate himself from any responsibility in this affair, the representative of the Algerian regime argued that the origin of these fires located in the region of Kabylia, known for its independence claims, was criminal, by threatening any person, any person or party that would like to divide the state.
“Since the incidents began, I have given instructions to contact all friendly European countries to bring back canadairs. We knew that the topography of the region did not allow fires to be extinguished with traditional means. Unfortunately, no country responded to our request, because all European planes were deployed in Greece and Turkey, ”he said, while he voluntarily refused the Morocco aid offered 48 hours before. , and the Moroccan Canadairs were ready and only awaiting the agreement of the Algerian authorities.
It was not until midday on Thursday that two Canadairs sent from France landed at Houari Boumédiene airport in Algiers to be deployed later in the day. Algeria subsequently succeeded in concluding an agreement with the European Union to send two water bomber planes, according to APS.
Algerians angry with Tebboune
While Algerians are already angry because of the lack of oxygen in the country which is experiencing a new outbreak of coronavirus cases, they were even more indignant after learning about the lack of technical and material means in Algeria to cope. to forest fires in Africa’s largest country, as military budgets absorb all the country’s spending. Algeria has bomber helicopters but no Canadairs.
In recent days, strong criticism targeting Abdelmadjid Tebboune has erupted again, especially since his last media release at the beginning of the week, in which he spoke about the health situation, the cruel lack of oxygen in the country which led to the death of several people. Internet users denounced his lack of empathy towards the Algerian people, and noted that their president expressed no apologies, no repentance, or even condolences towards the victims of this neglect of the Algerian state.
The anger was so strong that during his message to the Nation Thursday evening, this time, Tebboune did not forget to offer his condolences to the victims of the fires. This time around, the president couldn’t make the mistake twice, especially since soldiers also lost their lives trying to rescue residents.
On social networks, calls for help are multiplying and criticisms targeting power too. Internet users deplore the situation in which they are plunged against their will, and the repeated catastrophes which affect their country under the impassiveness of the leaders who always prefer to stick the responsibility elsewhere.
The fires in Kabylia are still ongoing this Friday, according to the Algerian Civil Protection, 92 fires still active including 37 in Tizi Ouzou, cradle of the Hirak protest.