Algeria: Riot after a wave of evictions of squats in Oran leaves hundreds of families homeless

Yesterday morning in downtown Oran dozens of police vans, riot squads completed evictions of squats in several districts.

No less than eight abandoned buildings, located in the street Cavaignac, Saint-Pierre in the street or near Gandhi market of the Bastille, were targeted for eviction and the removal of squatters who had stayed there several weeks. The previous occupants of these buildings were relocated as part of the operation against precarious housing and old buildings, leaving behind empty spaces and access to condemned buildings.

This did not stop dozens of families and singles from cracking these old buildings and settle against the advice of the authorities.

At Ghandi street, families resisted and refused to respond to orders of the police even going so far as to put their bodies, especially women, hoping to reduce and prevent the police from entering the inside.

People were throwing stones and bottles from the windows and roofs.

The presence of children on site made the operation difficult, especially when it came to evacuate them and separate them from adults.

Eight people, including at least one woman, we learned, were arrested and detained on site. On another front of this operation, in the Saint-Pierre and Cavaignac, squatters threatened to set fire to the premises and commit suicide. Again, they are throwing stones against the riot squads while private vehicles were damaged, it was learned from the first witnesses of the scene. Around the streets, as the place Hoche, trucks were waiting ready to intervene in case of accident and trucks sent by the APC were used to evacuate occupants of property in the late morning.

In all, more than a hundred families were evicted by force yesterday morning, some of whom are from sub-Saharan Africa. Mainly if these squats were operated in complete illegality in Cavaignac and Saint-Pierre, some said they had expelled from “purchased homes”, before install, which indicates a possible turning traffic around these abandoned buildingg – something that has already been denounced repeatedly in Oran, with the existence of networks of “sleep dealer Algerians” fueled by the housing crisis.

At the end of the day, other squats are found in many old districts are supposed to be removed, or in any over thirty listed buildings for the sole center of Oran.

An eviction of thirty squatted abandoned buildings downtown was conducted yesterday morning. The city center of Oran was barricaded by security services before the fighting broke out.

The expulsion was conducted under the chairmanship of Chief daïra Oran M.Bouchemma. Eight buildings in urban El Emir were the first affected by the expulsion of their occupants. If the lanes of the street Cavaignac during this operation were uneventful, in the Mahatma Ghandi street, there were clashes between squatters and elements of public order. Squatters began by taking a shield composed of women and children to prevent police attack. However, when they realized that the police were able to evacuate children, they started throwing stones at them and bottles of beer. It was also noted suicide attempts among squatters which were quickly controlled.

The police identified the arrested squatters and unleashed the most of them. “07 people including a woman were shipped,” we learnt from a security source. The arrests were deterred squatters continue clashes with the police, the operation continued. In the afternoon, they are 14 other buildings in the neighborhood of Sid El-Houari to be evacuated. Buildings in the same situation will be. “35 abandoned buildings are squatted through the old quarters of the town of Oran,” says the head of the Daira, saying: “They will all be evacuated.” It’s abandoned buildings, their first occupants were relocated within the framework of the fight against slums.

“These are buildings that are considered at risk has blocked access following the relocation of their occupants but squatters have found a way to return their lives and putting their children in danger,” says the head of the Daira. A Mahatma Ghandi street, residents have welcomed the intervention of the police and the Daira. The same relief was noted among the inhabitants of the district of rue Thiers in Saint Pierre. The building was evacuated occupied by sub-Saharans. They have said they bought homes they occupy. This is also the case for all families evacuated.

Some said they had acquired up to 20 million their homes in ruins. These families hoping to benefit from a new home, or the times have changed and such processes can only affect those who use. They are unfortunately dozens of families who are caught in the trap of scam. “Each building housed an average of 20 families,” said Secretary General of the common Oran M. Fakha Benoumer. He added: “These squatters will return whence they came, we put at their disposal trucks to transport their belongings.” The town of Oran has the human and material resources required for eviction yesterday. They are agents of the municipality who ensured the demolition of buildings evacuated, this time so that no one can come back.

Published originally by mainstream press (El Watan &, then by La Chat Emeutier –