preview

Algeria After Independence

Better Essays
After independence (1962-1999)
The Evian Accords which were signed in 1962 giving Algeria immediate independence and French aid to help reconstruct the country. The French Sahara with its oil resources was also handed over to Algeria. In return the FLN guaranteed protection and civil rights for the French Algerians choosing to remain in the country, and the option of choosing either French or Algerian nationality after three years.
Eight years of war had shattered Algeria. There had been more than one million Algerian casualties and nearly two million Algerians had lost their homes. For over a century the French had deprived the Algerians of any but the most minimal opportunity to become involved in its infrastructure and institutions. Algerians had been made a subclass of servants, unskilled labourers and peasants. The departure of the French left the country without the skilled labour to keep the country running.
At the same time, internal conflicts within the FLN that had been set aside during the war emerged and a power struggle between various factions of the FLN flared up. Ahmed Ben Bella, with the support of Colonel Houari Boumedienne, the National Liberation Army chief of staff, emerged as the winner and was elected the first president of Algeria in 1962. The country he presided over had been established as an Arab-Islamic socialist state with a single party political system, the FLN being the only legal party. The FLN was to exercise collective leadership and rule the country from a central political bureau. All the fashionable accoutrements of post-colonial socialist government were activated, including centralization, nationalization of private industry and land reform. A constitution was passed by popular referendum in 1963 which gave the president wide-ranging powers and few restraints.
During his three years as President of Algeria, Ben Bella made some attempts to revive Algeria, but eventually succumbed to the vanity of international politics and domestic autocracy. He never really grappled with the country's hard-core problems of unemployment and the deficit of technical and administrative skills that prevented the country becoming a modern nation.
In 1965 Defence Minister Houari Boumedienne staged a bloodless coup which removed Ben Bella from power. He formed a 26-member Council of Revolution which became the country's highest governme...

... middle of paper ...

...ions were open and multi candidate, but were boycotted by the FIS who denounced the elections. President Liamine Zeroual won the election and promised to carry on with his reforms to ensure the transformation of Algeria into a true democracy. Militants opposed to the elections continued their campaign of terror against the government.
On 7th D1996, President Liamine Zeroual signed new constitutional reforms which, among other things, banned political parties that are formed on the basis of religion or language. These reforms led to an escalation of violence, with wide spread massacres and atrocities being committed. The war between the government forces and the militants continues with an estimated toll of 80,000 victims, most of whom are civilians.
On 15th April 1999, Algeria held democratic presidential elections which were won by Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a former foreign minister who enjoys the support of the army. The elections were held amid allegations of fraud, in response to which the other six candidates withdrew from the elections in protest , but did not remove their names from the ballots. The war between the government forces and the militant forces continues to rage on.
Get Access