President Hage Geingob has paid tribute to former Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who died last Friday aged 84. Bouteflika, who was the north African country’s longest-serving president, was laid to rest on Sunday.
He served as president from 1999-2019. “I join the people of Algeria in mourning the passing of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. As president of the UN General Assembly in 1975, President Bouteflika played a crucial role in isolating apartheid South Africa, itself a pivotal diplomatic victory in our fight for freedom,” said Geingob.
“Our bonds of friendship have been forged during a difficult period in our struggle. As Africans, we owe President Bouteflika a debt of gratitude for the extraordinary role he played in the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity and the birth of the African Union, including the shaping of a prosperous Africa. On behalf of the Namibian people, I extend sincere condolences to the Bouteflika family and the fraternal people of Algeria.”
The former strongman quit office in April 2019, having been abandoned by the military following weeks of street protests over his bid to run for a fifth presidential term. He had risen to power in 1999 on a wave of popular support as his amnesty offer to Islamist armed fighters helped bring an end to a decade-long civil war.