Ahmed Gaid Salah
Ahmed Gaid Salah (Arabic: أحمد قايد صالح; 13 January 1940 – 23 December 2019) was a senior leader in the Algerian People's National Army. In 2004, he was appointed by then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to the position of chief of staff of the army. On 15 September 2013, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense. Gaid Salah was promoted to the rank of General in 1993. He was married and father of seven children.
Ahmed Gaid Salah
أحمد قايد صالح
Ahmed Gaid Salah in 2006
|Chief of Staff of the People's National Army|
3 August 2004 – 23 December 2019
|Preceded by||Mohamed Lamari|
|Succeeded by||Saïd Chengriha (acting)|
|Deputy Minister of Defense|
15 September 2013 – 23 December 2019
|Born||13 January 1940|
|Died||23 December 2019 (aged 79)|
|Branch/service||Algerian People's National Army|
|Years of service||1958–2019|
|Unit||Corps of Artillery|
|Commands||Chief of Staff of the People's National Army|
Gaid Salah served as Algeria's de facto leader in 2019.
On 26 March 2019, after months of unrelenting anti-Bouteflika protests, Gaid Salah compelled President Bouteflika to resign. The president handed over his resignation under intense public pressure after having announced that he was seeking reelection for a fifth term. Later, in an effort to ease public tension, General Gaid Salah ordered the arrest of the president's brother and close adviser, Said Bouteflika, alleging that he was conspiring with two former intelligence chiefs, retired General Toufik Mediene and General Tartag, to make changes in the leadership of the armed forces, including the removal of Gaid Salah himself from his top position.
In an effort to remove opposition, General Gaid Salah ordered the arrest of two former prime ministers as well as other former ministers and several business leaders who were close to presidential advisor Said Bouteflika. His actions at that point gained him a lot of public support. The anti-corruption activity that started in the second quarter of 2019 was used by the Algerian anti-government movement as an opportunity to demand that the military hand over power to a civilian government, a demand that was rejected by General Gaid Salah. Instead, General Gaid Salah said that only a presidential election could bring the country out of its political crisis.
Gaid Salah suffered a heart attack on the morning of 23 December 2019 and was rushed to a military hospital in Algiers, where he died a few hours later. He was 79 years old. His last public appearance was four days earlier when he received the National Order of Merit from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. After his funeral, he was buried on 25 December 2019 at El-Alia cemetery, Algiers.
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- "Algeria buries military chief, de facto ruler amid protests". Associated Press. 25 December 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-01-14. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
- "Algerian Leader Bouteflika Resigns Under Pressure From Army". 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
- "Algeria: Military Judiciary Sets Trial Date for Bouteflika Regime Figures". 2019-09-13. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
- "Algeria's army chief renews push for presidential election". 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
- eddine, Ait Seddik Baha. "Décès du général de corps d'armée Ahmed Gaïd Salah". www.aps.dz.
- "Ahmed Gaïd Salah hospitalisé, un proche annonce son décès". Radio M. December 23, 2019.
- "Algeria's powerful military chief Ahmed Gaid Salah dies". France 24. December 23, 2019.
- "شاهد آخر ظهور لرئيس أركان الجيش الجزائري قبل وفاته". Al Arabiya (in Arabic). 23 December 2019.
- Chikhi, Lamine (25 December 2019). "Hundreds of thousands turn out to mourn Algeria's powerful army chief". Reuters. Retrieved 26 December 2019.