Will the suppression of S12 suppress the February 12 demonstration?


I have already talked about decision making process in Algeria and showed that nothing was studied before hand and no decision was evaluated after its implementation. I just came across this article on TSA. It says that the interior ministry has decided to suppress the S12 birth certificate. But before I comment on this decision I feel a short reminder of related events/decisions is needed.

So Algeria announced some time ago that it would start issuing biometric IDs and passports starting from April 2010. I remember I renewed my passport a few weeks earlier just to avoid all the issues I expected this decision would create. So the then great minister of interior, Yazid Zerhouni, told us of the big efforts his services were making in order to be ready on the D-day. He also explained that this was a necessary move because of international security constraints. But the best was yet to come. He first introduced an application form where everyone was asked to give so many details about themselves, their friends, colleagues, schoolmates, and some other weird questions. And then started the polemic around the head scarf and the beard, because he said all the photos would require the men to shave their beards and women to take off their scarves. As usual, it wasn’t him but the international community’s order.
As it can be seen on BentAljazair’s post, the international organisms required nothing and they even made it clear that anything related to beliefs/religions could be kept while taking the picture. The relatively big storm that followed that polemic forced the minister to allow the Algerians to keep their scarves and beards while taking these pictures, but he declared that the Algerian state wouldn’t be responsible for Algerian travellers who would have problems at international airports because of their pictures. Such a wonderful declaration by a great state minister!

Then we know how things went on. The administration wasn’t ready by April 2010 and those citizens who applied for new documents could get neither biometric nor classical ones. It took the ministry a long time before it accepted to reissue the old format documents as it finally admitted that the biometrics era was postponed.
One of Ould Kablia, the new interior minister’s decisions was to change the application form and only keep reasonable questions in it.

But there still remained two issues. The first one is about all these applications and the new documents being issued by a French company, meaning all the information on Algerian citizens are stored in a foreign entity. Some Algerian newspapers mentioned that there were Algerian companies able to do the job but our government selected the French one. So this issue is not solved yet…

The second issue was about the S12 birth certificate. This document is given only once in an Algerian’s life by the city hall (APC) of his birth place, and the applicant must be present to get it. Several difficulties started. People were not necessarily free to go get the S12 by themselves, then the S12 forms were not always available (actually many APC agents wanted bribes in order to give these forms, and some others simply made deals with some shops which would sell the forms as they are supposedly unavailable at the APC).

So today we hear this stupid document is finally suppressed, and TSA article says the decision was made after an Nth citizens’ demonstration in an APC (this time it was in Oran). And this is just another occurrence showing how the Algerian rulers take their decisions. I wonder if it has something to do with the recent riots in Algeria and the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts. I feel the Algerian rulers are nowadays ready to solve (understand camouflage) any issues of any kind by all means just to make sure nothing will happen in Algeria. In this regard Bouteflika’s recent decisions after a government council are telling. Even Zohra Drif is sent to the radio to criticise the ministers who apparently are not fit to carry out the president’s great program…

I do not think any revolt will start in Algeria, but it’s good to observe our rulers and feel their distress…

4 thoughts on “Will the suppression of S12 suppress the February 12 demonstration?

  1. Such a great analysis ! “[…] nothing was studied before hand and no decision was evaluated after its implementation” this is so true and well said : every decision they take doesn’t seem to have any logical justification, any root, any cause. And then, they neither plan nor take responsibility for their decisions. It’s so sad.
    It’s kind of funny to see how our rulers act directed by fear and only fear. It’s like they’re running around every corner like a lab rat not knowing what to do and just taking any choice that pops into their minds hoping it will solve the problem, magically !

    Anyway, thanks for the awsome post. Keep it up 😉

  2. Is this info confirmed? God I feel such a fool now that I’ve finally managed to get my new passport! Should have waited. I had no problems with the stupid S12, but I handed in the 15-page form with all the delicate info in it (I left many sections blank on purpose however as it was ridiculous to be asked such intimated questions for a bleeding passport!!).

    • It is confirmed yes but apparently the 12S is suppressed only for IDs and we still need it to get our passports. Of course, as usual, I read an article yesterday saying that the APC services still request this document because they say the ministry hasn’t ordered them yet to discard it…

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