Algeria had been embroiled in protests since February 2019. Initially, the protests had been aimed at ousting long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, an 81-year-old veteran of Algeria's independence struggle, who had been in ill health and not seen in public for some time.
Mr Bouteflika resigned in April, handing over to a military-backed caretaker government, but demonstrations continued. Protesters demanded the cancellation of the presidential elections set to take place on July 4 and a return to civilian democracy. They also called for the departure of government officials associated with the Bouteflika administration, including the interim president and prime minister. Protests continued into 2020 without successful resolution.