Status Quo Side: France
Non-Status Quo Side: FLN-ALN
Conflict Type: Colonial
Issues in Dispute: Independence, Resources
France's 1947 Algerian statute stifled Muslim hopes for greater political participation. French preoccupation elsewhere left control with local Europeans who neglected the 80% rural population.
A secret group, CRUA, decided on a military insurrection before reconciling the goals of all nationalist factions.
Some 70 acts of violence were perpetrated by 30 armed bands. A Front for National Liberation (FLN), formed to seek aid in building an Army of National Liberation (ALN), eventually gained support of most nationalists except a rival MNA faction. Early ALN success was reversed after February 1956 by French action creating electrified border barriers, troop build-ups, a "grid" strategy, and social reforms. Later actions, such as kidnapping FLN leaders, invading Suez [see SUE], and bombing a Tunisian village, lost France support in the UN and elsewhere during a prolonged period of governmental instability. General Charles de Gaulle's election in mid-1958 and offer of self-determination prompted the "Ultras" uprising and a "General's Revolt" by the Secret Army Organization (OAS) in Algeria in April 1961.
A cease-fire was agreed with the FLN at Evian. On July 3, referenda in France and Algeria approved the Evian accords giving Algeria independence and France access to Saharan resources.
Algerian independence was proclaimed by France.
In 1992, following thegovernment's refusal to accept a probable electoral victory by the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), an increasingly sanguinary conflict developed between the notoriously corrupt military government and the indigenous Islamist movement. The population became alienated by the brutal excesses of the radical Armed Islamic Group (GIA), and in 1997 FIS proposed a truce citing "abominable massacres" by GIA fanatics. A new civilian government under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in June 1999 proposed amnesty for FIS, whose leader Medani Mezrag pledged to end armed struggle against the state.
Copyright © 2000 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton