- Within a space of one week, Algeria has lost two of its former presidents, Abdelkader Bensalah and Abdelaziz Bouteflika
- While Bensalah passed on on Wednesday, September 22, Bouteflika died on Thursday, September 16
- Put together, both former leaders were in office for more than two decades before the current president, President Abdelmadjid, came into power
Abdelkader Bensalah, the former interim president of Algeria who led the African nation in 2019 when it was battling with a serious national crisis, is dead.
Reuters reports that according to the Algerian presidency, Bensalah died on Wednesday, September 22, at the age of 80.
Bensalah, who also headed Algeria's upper house of parliament for several years, remained in office until President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was elected in late 2019.
It was gathered that Bensalah's demise came after a long struggle with a sickness that is yet to be named.
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The late president's funeral is expected to be held after prayers on Thursday, September 23, at the El Alia Cemetery, east of downtown Algiers.
Death of Bensalah's predecessor
Bensalah's death came less than seven days after his predecessor, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was on Friday, September 17, reported dead.
Bouteflika died two years after he stepped down from office following nationwide protest by the masses and the military after news of his plan to run for a fifth term broke.
He had held on to power in the nation for not less than 20 years before finally resigning in 2019 after much public outcry from the citizenry who saw him as an autocrat turning the presidency into a monarchy.
After Bouteflika left office, he was hardly ever seen in public until his death on Thursday, September 16.
African president escapes assassination after Muslim prayers
Meanwhile, President Assimi Goita, the interim leader of Mali, was almost murdered on Tuesday, July 20, after the Eid prayers at a mosque in Bamako, the nation's capital.
Confirmed reports had it that one of the two attackers was wielding a knife with which he almost stabbed the president.
However, security aides around Goita intervened, overpowered the assailant, and arrested him while the colonel was taken to the military camp in Kati from which the presidency afterwards disclosed that he was "safe and sound".