Scenes from a civil war?
Issued on: Modified:
This amateur footage was shot in Oran on Monday. It's no civil war - these rioters are supporters of a local football club, Mouloudia, which just found out that their team will be relegated to the country's second division next season for the first time in 42 years. The chaos lasted for three days while the city's youth looted shops and vandalised public buildings and cars. Seventy police officers were injured in attempts to restrain the hooligans.
A shop gets looted
Posted by "midou31i"
The police intervene.
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"Young Algerians are frustrated more than anything"
Djamal Ben Achour is a journalist for the newspaper El-Watan. He followed the events in Oran.
It all kicked off just after the results were announced. The match didn't take place in the city; it was 150 miles away. Mouloudia were one-up for a long time so fans were really gutted when the other team equalised, relegating them to second division. Young people started pouring into the streets in built-up areas and it just took off. We're used to this kind of thing in Algeria, although it doesn't usually last three days.
It's difficult to explain why they get so violent. Obviously football is just a catalyst - there are reasons behind this behaviour. For me, young Algerians are frustrated more than anything. They see swish cars driving past and don't understand why things don't get better for them. Algeria lives off oil revenues, so the country's not developing and lives in a state of constant economic change.
On top of that, young Algerians are not kept a close eye on. The network of associations here isn't strong enough and there's no trust in politics anymore. This kind of riot could have happened in any country in the region. If it isn't going on in Morocco or Tunisia, it's because the regimes are much stricter there. Here the police tend to handle the situation moderately, only using tear gas."