Police in Algeria break up protest of 1990s disappearances

ALGIERS, Algeria – Police in Algiers blocked a protest by dozens of families of people who disappeared during the 1990s on Saturday, saying the demonstration on the anniversary of a referendum seeking national reconciliation was not authorized.

About 200,000 Algerians died in fighting during the 1990s and between 6,000 and 12,000 disappeared, according to various estimates. Many blame security forces who at the time said they were fighting terrorism.

The referendum of Sept. 29, 2006 offered their families compensation if they agreed to move on. A total of 6,146 families have accepted the money.

“We want the truth about those who disappeared,” chanted the protesters before they were dispersed by police.

Yacine Adnani, a police official, said the protest wasn’t authorized and police were ordered to put an end to it without violence.


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