Algeria's powerful army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah has branded those who oppose the military as "enemies of the country", as protesters keep demanding a complete overhaul of the administration ruled with long serving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
It is now almost two months since long serving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to step down in early April, however, Algeria is still to find peace. The ongoing crisis has left the army as the most powerful and main player in politics, a worrying trend considering the scenes recently witnessed in Sudan.
In a defence ministry statement issued on Tuesday, Gaid Salah, was quoted saying that those with "grudges and animosity towards the army and its command ... are undoubtedly enemies of Algeria."
"Those who are knowingly trying to circumvent ... terms of the constitution, do they realise what it means to suppress all state institutions?" he asked.
Protests as large as those that were witnessed at the climax of opposition to Bouteflika's rule in April has continued weekly with proresters demanding that establishment insiders step down as well. The latest target has been interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, a former head of the upper house of parliament, whom they see as a close ally of Bouteflika.
The protesters have demanded that the whole system goes under a conplete revival, with rhe current administration leaving office to pave way for independent institutions.
An initial election had been announced to be held on July 4, however, this has since been postponed by the authorities. No new date for the vote has been set.
In the statement, Gaid Salah accused some parties of trying to benefit from the political crisis that will arise from a constitutional vacuum. This statement has been seen by some to be clearly targeted at opposition parties.
"It is unthinkable to proceed in the name of the people with the destruction of the achievements of the Algerian people, that is to say ... the constitution."
His warning is not to be taken lightly as Bouteflika's youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs are in custody accused of "harming the army's authority and plotting against state authority".
"When the National People's Army was working with responsibility, self-denial and disinterestedness, some people ... cunningly planned to appropriate public funds," the statement quoted Gaid Salah as saying.
A number of former ministers in the Bouteflika administration have now appeared in court over corruption allegations in recent weeks. These include the former Finance Minister Karim Djoudi, former Prime Ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, as well as former Trade Minister Amara Benyounes for "dissipation of public funds and awarding illegal privileges".
Header Image Credits: Al Jazeera