According to official media, Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has said his government will lift the national state of emergency imposed for the past 19 years in the very near future.
This coincides with the planning by opposition groups of mass protests in the capital Algiers on Saturday 12 February.
The country of 35 million has been under emergency rule since the annulled 1992 parliamentary election in which Islamist parties took the lead. Four years of civil war followed, with great loss of life.
Across the country, rising food prices last month brought clashes between Algerian protesters, said to have been inspired by the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings, and police. Several demonstrators died and some 800 injuries were reported.