While there does appear to be some parallels between the

  start of the Arab Spring and the recent Algerian marches, experts are wary of drawing comparisons.

  McInerney says these protests feel very reminiscent of what was witnessed in Tunisia in Janua

ry 2011. He adds that similar protests erupted in Algeria at the same time but were quickly and violently quashed.

  ”In the past, the default position [for the regime] has been to crackdown on protests … The nature of these protests, they’ve chos

en not to do that. They’ve been more careful and thoughtful and strategic in how they respond,” he says.

  McInerney says there are some concerns the regime will try to trigger violent cl

ashes, perhaps by sending pro-regime thugs into the protests to create violence as a pretext for a crackdown.

  For now, protesters seem intent on continuing their calls for Bouteflika to withdraw and planning further peaceful marches.

  ”If the determination continues and if the protesters keep their demands clear … and i

f they remain peaceful, this might transform into a big social movement,” Carnegie research scholar Gha

nem says, adding that countries across the Mediterranean will be closely watching how events unfold.

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