Algeria : the private secretary of Gaïd Salah brought back to the fold - The Point

" On the orders of the president of the Republic, supreme chief of the armed forces, minister of national Defence, and in coordination between our security ser

Algeria : the private secretary of Gaïd Salah brought back to the fold - The Point

" On the orders of the president of the Republic, supreme chief of the armed forces, minister of national Defence, and in coordination between our security services and security services in Turkish, chief warrant officer retired Guermit Bounouira, who had fled the country, was handed over Thursday to authorities. It will be brought before the military investigating judge on Monday. "The tone of the official press release published yesterday by the algerian authorities may intrigue him. Indeed, why is the repatriation of a sub-officer becomes the concern of the president himself ?

It must be said that it is not of any sub-officer : the ex-chief warrant officer Guermit Bounouira was the private secretary to the deceased boss of the army, general of army corps Ahmed Gaïd Salah, who passed away on December 23, 2019. We remember : former chief of staff of the army was at the centre of the management of the crisis that has shaken Algeria since the outbreak, on February 22, 2019, of the hirak, this popular movement that forced the ousted president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to leave power at the end of twenty years of reign.

Guermit Bounouira, as private secretary of the ex-chief of staff, was therefore the confidence of the latter, and was in a position to very sensitive. Rumors were, from the disappearance of Ahmed Gaïd Salah, vice-minister of Defence, of some upheaval within the army, but few would have imagined a sequence of events of the kind.

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Bounouira, a man on the run since march...

According to the news website, Algeria patriotic, " Guermit Bounouira has left the national territory on march 5, with his wife and two children, via the international airport Houari-Boumédiène of Algiers ". "This chief warrant officer, a native of Tissemsilt, in the west of the country, has made about him because of the influence of abnormal that he exerted on former top-ranking officers of the army – today imprisoned or dismissed – which, however, occupied of the functions otherwise more important than his own. He has amassed a colossal fortune, and acquired property which is in the billions of cents, " according to the same site.

According to TSA, " the former sub-officer will face serious charges : embezzlement, leakage of documents and confidential information of the department of national Defence (...). The respondent is alleged to have come into contact with individuals sought by justice and fleeing the country in order to disseminate the documents and information in question. Guermit Bounouira is also suspected of having taken advantage of his position to acquire property both in Algeria and abroad ".

To Algeria patriotic, the seriousness of the case lies in the fact that the former chief warrant officer " was negotiating his naturalization [in Turkey] against the documents which he would have appropriated the vault of the former vice-minister of national Defence ". His flight, according to this site and other sources, would have been facilitated by the former boss of the Directorate-general of internal security (ISB), general Wassini Bouazza... in prison since last April in the penitentiary military of Blida, south of Algiers.

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... with the complicity of the general Bouazza...

The general Bouazza, all-powerful boss of the secret services and the interior, held the position of director general of internal security since April 2019, at the same time as the hirak took on a new dimension. Officially, the general Bouazza is sued in two separate cases : the first, for which he was sentenced to eight years in prison, includes " contempt-verbal body ", " humiliation of a subordinate ", "forgery and use of forgery" and " possession of a weapon and ammunition of war ". The newspaper El Watan said that he is " also continued to another folder heavier, currently in training at the military court of Blida ". The ex-boss of the ISB, a service of security and information, born of the fragmentation of the DRS, the Leviathan safe from the years 1990-2000, is especially suspected by authorities to have played a role in the promotion of one of the competitors of Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in the person of Azzedine Mihoubi, in the presidential election of December 2019. The high command of the time had felt the positioning of Wassini Bouazza – which eventually "poison" several media and chancelleries of foreign who bet on Mihoubi – as a "betrayal" and an " attempt to play against the high command and the new political authorities ". "Bouazza has taken advantage of the trust of Ahmed Gaïd Salah who, in his haste to want to replace all the faithful of the former boss of services Mohamed Mediène (in prison), made a bad casting in the inducting at the head of the internal security," says a source who has been monitoring this folder.

... since fallen from grace

After the election of Tebboune, "everybody [knew] that between the president and the boss of the ISB relations were" not too bright ". It transpired, explain to our sources, " through the decisions, counter-decisions, resistance and opposition parallel, which provoked heavy issues within the public opinion ", revealed to El Watan in April 2020, the date of the dismissal of Bouazza. Meanwhile, a number of changes to the head of the various intelligence services and security have raised the leg of the new team Tebboune-Chengriha (chief of staff). Some senior officers, moreover, have been recently rehabilitated while they were the target of raids mounted " by the ex-boss of the ISB, the general Bouazza.

Guermit Bounouira caught in the trap of interest crossed algerian-Turkish

either way, Erdogan has to take into account larger issues between Algeria and Turkey that the fate of a chief warrant officer for retirement ready to deliver military secrets. "The Turkish president seems to have taken the message of Algiers who considered this case as a casus belli and a hostile acts against the fundamental interests of Algeria," adds the same source. So, last week, a "special team services [algerian] of the internal security and counter-intelligence has moved to Turkey for the arrest of the Guermit Bounouira," said El Watan, quoting a blogger algerian who follows sensitive cases.

According to Reuters, the algerian president had, at the end of July, called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, asking him to return to Algiers this sub-officer in leak, which would have disclosed a table explaining the activities, the codes and the names of the officers of the army. "For Ankara, any direct opposition to the algerian to his role in Libya could complicate a military operation far from its own shores. However, despite some disagreements on Libya, Algeria and Turkey have maintained good relations. "We worked very well with our counterparts in Turkey," said the security source in algeria.

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It must be remembered that Algiers, active on the issue of libya, to launch an initiative in conjunction with Tunisia, while impatientant to interference, especially military, actors such as the united arab Emirates or Turkey. But in parallel, on the economic front, the two countries are strengthening in the last few months of their relationship. Algiers is in effect the first trading partner of Ankara in Africa, with exchanges that vary between 3.5 and 4 billion dollars per year. For the investment volume of Turkish in Algeria, it has exceeded $ 3 billion, and the two countries want to reach to 5 billion dollars in the coming years. All elements that have facilitated the co-operation of the Turks with regard to the arrest of the chief warrant officer in retirement Guermit Bounouira.

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Updated Date: 03 August 2020, 11:33

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