Paris, France – Shouting “Bouteflika has got to go”, waving Algerian and Berber flags and brandishing signs demanding Algeria‘s ailing president step down, some 10,000 people have rallied in the centre of France‘s capital, Paris, on Sunday.
“This is our time; it’s the time for Algerian people,” one of the protesters on Sunday said, echoing the growing calls against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s plan to extend his rule in elections next month.
As hundreds of thousands of Algerians have taken to the streets throughout the North African country over the past several weeks to protest against the 82-year-old’s bid to seek a fifth term, the Algerian diaspora has expressed solidarity by also taking to the streets in large numbers.
In France, which is home to hundreds of thousands of Algerian-born immigrants, protests have taken place in both Paris and Marseilles.
On Sunday, the capital’s Place de la Republique was filled with Algerians and people of Algerian descent of all generations.
It was also attended briefly by opposition political activist and Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz, who just days before was questioned by Swiss authorities for having attempted to enter the hospital where Bouteflika was being treated.
The president returned to Algeria on Sunday after a two-week stay in a hospital in Geneva.