The International Crisis Group has urged dialogue between the Algerian government and the anti-regime movement ‘‘Hirak’‘ to avoid what it calls a major economic crisis.
The Group cites the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a fall in oil prices. Algeria is exposed to fluctuations in oil prices due to its dependence on the commodity, which represents over 90 percent of its external revenues. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that the North African nation is expected to experience a 5.2 percent recession in 2020 because of the virus and oil crisis. The ‘‘Hirak’‘ movement begun in February 2019 to protest state of affairs in Algeria. The weekly protests were suspended mid-March due to the health crisis. However, the covid-19 pandemic has not prevented Algerian authorities from prosecuting and convicting ‘‘Hirak’‘ activists, political opponents, journalists and users of social media.
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