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Ahmed Gaid Salah
أحمد قايد صالح
Ahmed gaid salah 2006 (cropped).jpg
Ahmed Gaid Salah in 2006
Chief of Staff of the People's National Army
In office
3 August 2004 – 23 December 2019
Preceded by Mohamed Lamari
Succeeded by Saïd Chengriha
Minister of Defence
In office
3 April 2019 – 23 December 2019
Preceded by Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Succeeded by Abdelmadjid Tebboune
Deputy Minister of Defense
In office
15 September 2013 – 23 December 2019
Succeeded by Vacant
Personal details
Born (1940-01-13)13 January 1940
Batna, French Algeria
Died 23 December 2019(2019-12-23) (aged 79)
Algiers, Algeria
Military service
Allegiance  Algeria
Branch/service ANP.png Algerian People's National Army
Years of service 1957–2019
Rank Lieutenant general
Unit Corps of Artillery
Commands Chief of Staff of the People's National Army

Ahmed Gaid Salah (Arabic: أحمد قايد صالح; 13 January 1940 – 23 December 2019) was a senior leader in the Algerian People's National Army. In 2004, he was appointed by then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to the position of chief of staff of the army. On 15 September 2013, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense. Gaid Salah was promoted to the rank of General in 1993. He was married and father of seven children. Gaid Salah served as Algeria's de facto leader in 2019.


On 26 March 2019, after months of unrelenting anti-Bouteflika protests, Gaid Salah compelled President Bouteflika to resign. The president handed over his resignation under intense public pressure after having announced that he was seeking reelection for a fifth term. Later, in an effort to ease public tension, General Gaid Salah ordered the arrest of the president's brother and close adviser, Said Bouteflika, alleging that he was conspiring with two former intelligence chiefs, retired General Toufik Mediene and General Tartag, to make changes in the leadership of the armed forces, including the removal of Gaid Salah himself from his top position.

In an effort to remove opposition, General Gaid Salah ordered the arrest of two former prime ministers as well as other former ministers and several business leaders who were close to presidential advisor Said Bouteflika. His actions at that point gained him a lot of public support. The anti-corruption activity that started in the second quarter of 2019 was used by the Algerian anti-government movement as an opportunity to demand that the military hand over power to a civilian government, a demand that was rejected by General Gaid Salah. Instead, General Gaid Salah said that only a presidential election could bring the country out of its political crisis.


Gaid Salah suffered a heart attack on the morning of 23 December 2019 and was rushed to a military hospital in Algiers, where he died a few hours later. He was 79 years old. His last public appearance was four days earlier when he received the National Order of Merit from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. After his funeral, he was buried on 25 December 2019 at El-Alia cemetery, Algiers.


  • Collar of the National Order of Merit (Algeria)
  • Medal of the Order of Military Merit (Algeria)
  • Medal of Bravery (Algeria)
  • Medal of Courage (Algeria)
  • Medal of Honour (Algeria)
  • Medal of Longevity and Exemplary Service (Algeria)
  • Medal for participation in the Middle East Wars 1967 and 1973 (Algeria)
  • Commander of the Order of the Republic of Tunisia

See also

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