Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was buried on Sunday in Martyrs’ Square in El-Alia Cemetery, near Algiers, in the presence of President Tebboune and many senior officials. The authorities had not decided national grief, but preferred to keep a low profile for a man who was deposed from power by the streets and the army.
The coffin was strapped to a chariot and covered with the Algerian flag, which is common to mujahedin, veterans of the War of Independence. In front of him, a truck with eight officers paying attention and a floral armored vehicle pulling him, in the middle of a group of cyclists in full white uniforms.
► To also read: “Bouteflika has lived his whole life around two obsessions: to conquer power and retain it”
The funeral convoy arrived at El-Alia Cemetery in the light of a crowd gathered along the road. It is in the same cemetery that great independence figures and all former heads of state live. The whole government, but also President Tebboune, the Chief of Staff and foreign diplomats were there, around the Bouteflika family. The Republican Guard fired several rounds. The funeral was then announced by the Mujahedin minister and the coffin was laid in the ground.
A minimal ceremony. From all this came a general feeling of discretion. As solemn as they were, Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s funeral did not have the prestige of his predecessors. At least a ceremony, no national mourning in eight days as for Ben Bella or Bendjedid, and far from Boumédienne’s grand funeral.
A discretion that disappointed some friends of the former president, such as diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, former deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, who said it at the RFI microphone. But he predicted “we have not stopped talking about the life and death of Abdelaziz Bouteflika”.
I would like to say that he never lost his head, he had lost his voice but he had never lost his abilities but he missed his exit. He did not want to line up for a fifth term.
Lakhdar Brahimi, former head of Algerian diplomacy and former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations