Abdelaziz Haouame is Algeria’s new Air Force chief

Major-General Amar Amrani

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has relieved the commander of the country’s air defences, Major-General Amar Amrani, of his duties, appointing Major-General Abdelaziz Haouame in his place.

The shake-up of the Territorial Air Defence Force was announced on Sunday by the Chief of Staff of the Algerian army, Said Chengriha.

“Recently, under the leadership of the president and due to the efforts of faithful men, Algeria has seen an active dynamic in all fields – diplomatic, political, economic, and even sports,” Chengriha said.

The leading officer went on to praise the performance of the Algerian national football team, which won the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup in Qatar.

President Tebboune has recently replaced a number of commanders in the Algerian armed forces and security services.

In November, he dismissed Major-General Mohamed Kaidi as head of the Employment and Preparation Department of the Algerian army.

The Algerie Part Plus website reported that this may have been due to differences between Kaidi and other army commanders about how to handle deteriorating relations with Morocco, pointing specifically to an incident where three Algerian truck drivers were killed in the disputed Western Sahara region.

Algeria has backed separatists in the Western Sahara region leading to years of tensions.

Ties between Morocco and Algeria have soured in recent months over the disputed Western Sahara region and Rabat’s recognition of Israel, with some analysts warning of the potential for conflict between the two countries.

Tebboune also dismissed several senior military commanders in September.

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