Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria has died. That is what Algerian state television reports. Bouteflika was elected four times as president and was in power for twenty years until 2019, and in that year he ran for a fifth term, but after weeks of mass protests and pressure from the army, he abandoned it. He stepped down later that year. Bouteflika was 84 years old.
The cause of his death has not been revealed. It is known that he had a fragile health. He has hardly been seen in public since a stroke in 2013.
Bouteflika fought in the 1950s and 60s in the war of independence with France. After Algerias independence in 1962, he became Minister of Youth and Sport and later Foreign Affairs, among others.
In 1981 he left Algeria after political opponents accused him of corruption. But when that was finally annulled, he returned in 1987.
In 1999, he won the presidential election by an overwhelming majority. Algeria then suffered a civil war. Bouteflika tackled the Islamic insurgents very hard and came up with a national reconciliation plan, which led him to a large extent to dismantled violence.