Former Algerian President Houari Boumediene’s wife talked about his husband and her role as the first lady. She said at Echorouk Forum President Boumediene did not change his mind about hydrocarbons nationalization, in response to Chadli Bendjedid and Taher Zebiri’s memories.
Boumediene decided to leave power once he is 50
Anissa Boumediene said the former president was going to leave power once he was 50. “He planned to go to his native town and do agricultural work.”
She added that she was surprised by Taher Zebiri’s memories about President Boumediene. “It’s a pity that some people who could not reach senior positions behave like that. Taher Zebiri was dreaming of becoming defense minister. He was not eligible for that position. Was he graduated from a military academy? He could not write and then he wrote memories.”
Speaking about former Algerian president Chadli Bendjdid’s memories, Anissa Boumediene said she defends her husband as an Algerian citizen convinced by his policy. “Yet, those who came after him destroyed everything.”
We got married after a love story
Anissa Boumediene said she met her husband for the first time in his office.
“I was working as vice-Attorney General in a court in Algiers. I wanted to see the president because my father lost his move theater due to nationalization decision.”
She added that Guaid Ahmed who was in charge of the FLN party arranged an appointment with President Houari. “I met the president personally and we got married after a love story.”
Anissa Boumediene believes that what was written in Chadli’s memories about her husband’s qualities was true. “He was serious at work but he was a sensitive and loving husband.”
“He relied on himself and followed the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in behavior and work.”
Speaking about Boumediene’s behavior, she said he helped her in her studies at college. “He encouraged me to go forward and he motivated me. I liked listening to him speaking about different scientific issues. I knew about politics thanks to him.”
Boumediene had never changed his mind about nationalization
Anissa Boumediene denied that her husband would changed his economic choices including hydrocarbons nationalization, in response to Chadli’s memory.
Chadli said in his memory Boumediene thought about making changes to agricultural, industrialization and nationalization policy.
Boumediene’s wife said nationalization enabled Algeria to gain more than $96 billion between 1979 and 1986. “Oil was used as a diplomatic arm causing the so-called oil shock.”
Speaking about post Boumedien era, Algeria’s debt went up and poverty spread. Because of that, the government asked the International Monetary Fund for loan.
“Houari Boumediene did not prefer getting cheese and butter but he bought machines and created new jobs. If was alive, Algeria would not have experienced the crisis. When Boumediene was in power, corruption was estimated at 25 percent.”
Boumediene did not leave any will about his successor
Anissa Boumediene said her husband thought about leaving power and told her about his intention to resign. He did not leave any will about his successor.
She denied that President Boumediene had assigned Chadli to be in charge of coordination in security matters.
“Everyone was looking for his own interests. There were persons who were waiting for a coup against Chadli. I asked Abdelmadjid Alahem to handle the situation when Houari was in coma. Abdelhamid Lertach was in charge of defense ministry issues.”
Boumediene paid attention to neighbor countries’ safety
Anissa Boumediene said her husband wanted to improve Algeria’s relations with neighbor and Arab countries because he believed that instability would have a negative impact on it.
He paid attention to crises in Arab countries and refugees’ issue. “It was a strategic and anticipating work to ensure the safety of Algeria.”
Boumediene had reservations on the Évian Accords
Anissa Boumdiene said her husband, Guaid Ahmed and Ali Mendjeli affirmed reservations on an accord signed on February 27th, 1962 before the Evian Accords. It dealt with hydrocarbons issues, military bases and financial resources.
The accord stipulated that Algeria would get its share from oil income and it had to pay colonization “debts.” Boumediene warned of responding to the accords by issuing hydrocarbons and banks nationalization and development projects including schools and roads building.
Boumediene saved Mauritania from Morocco
Anissa Boumediene showed satisfaction over French President Hollande’s recognition of colonization crimes in Algeria even if he did not apologize.
Speaking about the Western Sahara issue, she said Boumediene saved Mauritania from Morocco.
“Morocco tried to obtain a part of Algerian lands,” she said.
She believed that it was possible to exploit gas pipeline which passed by Morocco in the Western Sahara issue.
Boumediene asked me to bury him in Guelma mountains
Before he died, Boumediene and asked his wife to bury him in Guelma mountains. Yet, his foreign affairs minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika wanted to bury him in Alia cemetery.
Speaking about her mission as the First Lady, she said she read about nations before receiving their presidents’ wives. “I asked them about issues in their countries such as people’s needs and attacks. I transmit all the talks to the president.”
“My best memories were when Algeria was respected by the whole world. I accompanied Boumediene to the UN headquarters. He was the first leader who spoke in Arabic. He resolved conflicts between Arab countries.