News Brief
Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Algeria has halted anti-government protests amid coronavirus outbreak.

Algeria Calls Off Anti-Government Protests Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

For the first time in over a year, protesters in Algeria have called off weekly demonstrations against former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's government amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The BBC reports that protest organisers in Algeria have called off weekly anti-government demonstrations amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.

This will mark the first time in over a year that Algerians will not take to the streets in mass protest against former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's government.


Protests in Algeria began last year in February shortly after then President Bouteflika announced that he would be running for a fifth term in office.

After weeks of unceasing protests from Algerians, the 82-year old was forced to resign in April saying, "There will be no fifth term," and adding that, "There was never any question of it for me. Given my state of health and age, my last duty towards the Algerian people was always contributing to the foundation of a new Republic."

However, Algerians continued to protest even after Bouteflika's resignation, demanding that his entire government step down as well. Despite former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune having succeeded Bouteflika, following his victory in the 2019 December elections, Algerians still regard his office as being "illegitimate", according to France24.

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase, protest organisers have since called on Algerians to remain indoors. This past Friday, protesters heeded the precautionary measures and as a result, city streets were left empty.

So far, Algeria has reported over 90 cases of coronavirus with at least 10 confirmed deaths while the total number of confirmed cases on the African continent now stands at a little over 900.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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