Women collapsed and men fell to their knees in prayer on Wednesday (27 December) as thousands of Algerians paid homage to their dead leader, President Houari Boumedienne.
Women collapsed and men fell to their knees in prayer on Wednesday (27 December) as thousands of Algerians paid homage to their dead leader, President Houari Boumedienne. Mourners took to the streets in their thousands, after learning of the death of the Socialist Head of State, in the early hours of Wednesday morning (27 December).
SYNOPSIS: Syrian President Hafez al-assad and the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, (PLO) Yasser Arafat were among the leaders of the Arab world who arrived in Algiers on Thursday (28 December) to pay homage to the late President Boumedienne. But it was the streets of Algiers that showed the true impact of the man's death. Thousands of people converged on the Palais du Peuple where his body lay in state.
The President, who had ruled virtually unchallenged for more than thirteen years, died on Wednesday (27 December) of a rare blood disease after a six-week coma. Monsieur Boumedienne, a moslem visionary came to power after a bloodless coup ousted algeria's first President, in 1965. He leaves no obvious successor and Algeria's leaders are faced with filling the vacuum caused by his death.
M. Boumedienne had planned to call a congress of the only political party, the National Liberation Front, to set up a new political structure modelled on East European systems. He was to control all aspects of social, economic and cultural life in Algeria.
The problems involved in carrying out his plans have been acknowledged by acting head of state, Mr. Raban Bitat.