Algeria: country hostage of youth violence on the rise

Young Algerians from slums control streets with robbery

12 November, 21:01

    Algerian policemen face demonstors in Algiers (archive) Algerian policemen face demonstors in Algiers (archive)

    (by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) - TUNIS - Residents of the new suburb of Ali Mendjeli outside Constantine in Algeria woke up on Monday morning in shock after a night of violence fuelled by dozens of youths who acted with impunity. They discovered that security in Algeria has become a vague concept and, until the State will not intervene with all means at its disposal, roads will be traps where everyone could risk their lives.
    In Algeria, youth violence is constantly on the rise with the slums' increasing social marginalization to blame for the phenomenon as young people there grow up dreaming of ways to make money easily and fast and therefore choose theft and robbery as a way to make their dream come true.
    Sometimes they also turn against those who symbolize authority, even if they are teachers. Attacks against professors who are abducted from their classes and thrown out of school amid cheers are multiplying as if they were the enemies instead of a society deeply divided in different economic and social classes.
    Violence doesn't only target teachers but schools where windows, desks and teaching materials are often destroyed.
    Rival gangs also fight one another to control a street or to gain respect among affiliates. And when these fights take place, often at night, anything can happen as knives are often used.
    Retailers in areas at risk - also on the outskirts of Algiers, where security is tight - feel abandoned while gangs crash their shops' windows to steal goods.
    Territorial supremacy isn't the only issue at stake as drug trafficking is another growing problem in spite of the optimistic outlook of authorities who are trying to downplay the phenomenon. (ANSAmed)

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