Thousands of jobless people have taken to the streets in the south of Algeria, demanding employment.
The protest rally took place on Thursday near the Town Hall of Ouargla Province, some 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of the capital, Algiers. Protesters also called on the government to stop arresting and prosecuting demonstrators.
“We are demanding the right to work and an end to the lawsuits against the jobless… There are thousands of us gathered in the square outside the town hall,” said a protester during the rally.
He went on to say that protesters included “unionists and human rights activists” who came from “different locations.”
Last month, a similar protest took place outside the national employment agency in the city of Laghouat some 400 kilometers south of the Algerian capital where security forces arrested four protesters.
On March 12, an Algerian court sentenced them to one month in prison over “illegal gathering” in the city.
Algeria has a high rate of unemployment, with government figures showing that 10 percent of the workforce is out of a job. Activists have maintained, however, that the jobless figures are much higher.
The situation is even worse in the south. Activists say the south is rich in oil and other resources. They argue that the government does not allocate revenue properly