In our edition of 18 November, we reported on the dismissal of the army's Comptroller General, Major General Mustapha Oudjani, without specifying whether he had been recalled to other functions or had retired. A well-informed source in the Algerian Ministry of National Defence explains the exact reason for this surprising change.
Among the first officers to graduate from the Algerian National School of Engineers and Technicians (ENITA) (class of 197), Major General Mustapha held various posts in the Algerian military, the most important of which was that of Comptroller General of the Army. This is a position of trust, to which only officers worthy of such trust can accede. Two criteria that the new comptroller, known for his frivolity and, above all, his lack of seriousness, hardly meets. Ever since he was a lieutenant, he has been described by his colleagues as a scoundrel.
The tasks of the army's Comptroller General are set and approved annually by the Minister of National Defence or his delegate. He has access to all military structures and operational units. Among the operations he carried out in this capacity was an inspection of the headquarters of the Land Forces Command shortly after the death of Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, former Chief of Army Staff and Deputy Minister of National Defence. The inspection resulted in the arrest of Colonel Malek Mohamed, commander of the headquarters group of the General Command, and Lieutenant Colonel Belloumi, head of the unit's restaurant. Both officers were sentenced to five years in prison.
Prior to assuming this position, Major General Mustapha Oudjani had headed the North Africa Regional Capabilities Command (NARC). A position that allowed him to manage a budget of 5 million dollars. A gift from heaven to enrich himself in hard currency. To take advantage of this providential windfall, he sent officers on missions abroad, paying their mission expenses out of the NARC budget when they should have received them from the Ministry of National Defence. But this was done deliberately. Major General Oudjani made deductions from the missionaries' expenses. As appetite comes with eating, and far from any control, he appointed himself head of the NARC logistics base in Jijel for a period of four years. A base that existed only on paper. And only a few months after his departure, the NARC executive committee made the base operational. Our general took advantage of this to receive a salary increase of 5,000 dollars a month for 48 months. A sum of 240,000 dollars pocketed without provoking the slightest reaction. Quite frankly, an exaggerated sum designed to provoke envy.
Four years after leaving his post as NARC commander, the cat took the biscuit at a meeting of senior representatives of NARC member countries. According to our source, these representatives included Algeria's ambassadors in Tripoli and Cairo, who were quick to point out the huge anomaly in the NARC's budget accounts.
The two ambassadors reported their discovery to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Attaf, who passed the information on to the President of the Republic, who in turn alerted Army General Saïd Chengriha. According to the same source, the Algerian army chief of staff was aware of this fraudulent operation and did not raise the slightest objection when the major general informed him of this "regularisation". However, once alerted by the President of the Republic, he simply proposed the dismissal of the indelicate general. It is understood, however, that an investigation has been opened and its results are awaited.