More than 60,000 Moslems poured in from the hills and plains surrounding Algiers today to demonstrate their loyalty to the new regime.
More than 60,000 Moslems poured in from the hills and plains surrounding Algiers today to demonstrate their loyalty to the new regime. Standing outside the Government building under the banners of their settlements, they heard speeches from Arab and French leaders.
The, procession, headed by a band of Algerian riflemen in white caps and light khaki uniforms, with their mascot, a ram, marching at its head, stretched across the entire forum square.
Most of the applause for M.Soustelle, former Governor-General of Algeria, and other French leaders came from the small groups of French settlers. M.Soustelle, in his speech, said the Arab's presence indicated they wished to remain French and "advance in legality without any foreign interference".
"Had it not been for the events of May 13 we would have seen the country in the hands of men who had not come from France or French Algeria".
One of the most colourful figures at the demonstration was Si Cherif, who addressed the crowd in Arabic. His personal bodyguard of 250 soldiers was drawn up in front of the balcony. Si Cherif, after serving in the French Army during the Indo-China war, was kidnapped by rebels on his return to Algeria in 1955 and forced to fight for them. He escaped and formed his own army of loyal Arabs, which numbers several thousands.
Now that Gen. De Gaulle has acquired power of Government in Paris, M. Soustelle and his comrades are rallying the country to his support, inspite of none of the Algerian leaders not being included in the De Gaulle Cabinet.