Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has returned home after a one-month stay in Germany for surgery following post-COVID complications in his foot, according to state television.
“The President of the Republic, Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence Abdelmadjid Tebboune, returned today,” the state broadcaster reported on Friday, but did not broadcast images of his arrival.
Tebboune, 75, had been hospitalised in Germany last year after contracting COVID-19, and stayed there for two months before returning to Algeria.
He went back to Germany on January 10, and underwent a “successful” operation on his foot 10 days later, according to the presidency.
Algeria has so far recorded more than 110,000 coronavirus cases, including at least 2,900 deaths from COVID-19, since the pandemic began.
Algerians have been awaiting key economic and political reforms that Tebboune promised after succeeding President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who in 2019 resigned in the face of mass protests, known as the Hirak movement, after two decades in power.
Tebboune has promised to take steps aimed at diversifying the economy away from oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the state budget and 94 percent of total export revenue.
Tebboune’s initial convalescence in Germany had reminded many Algerians of octogenarian Bouteflika’s frequent hospitalisations abroad.
His return comes amid tension in the North African nation ahead of the second anniversary of the launch of the Hirak protests on February 22.
Hirak protests continued after Bouteflika’s fall, demanding a full overhaul of the ruling system in place since Algeria’s 1962 independence from France.
However, social distancing rules to stem the coronavirus pandemic meant that protesters had to halt their street rallies early last year.