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Algerian Backgrounds

Algerian Backgrounds

Wednesday, 24 April, 2019 - 11:00
Some see the difference between Algeria and Sudan as wide. The first, because of a long and costly revolution (1954-1962), formed a national group that remained strange to the second. This statement may sound true, but in depth, it is not.

The “One Million Martyrs Revolution” was - like the Janus temple - two-faced. Its other face is that it has turned the army into the only form of the state’s existence. As a result of the concealment that brought about the revolutionary forces, lack of transparency became one of the political conditions in the independent state. Security services have thus turned into the leading bodies.

Blood and conspiracy poured heavily before and after independence. The first prominent victim was Messali el-Hadj, the father of Algerian nationalism, and a professor of the subsequent generation of rulers and dissidents. He wanted to explore the potential of the political struggle by taking advantage of the decolonization conditions that followed World War II. His followers were uprooted from inside Algeria in 1957, and then in France in what was known as the "Cafe Wars". The man spent the year 1974 in Paris.

The second prominent victim was Abane Ramadan, the “revolutionary thinker” and the “architect of the Soummam Conference” in 1956, which brought about the National Liberation Army. On the border with Morocco, his fellow, Abdelhafid Bousouf, hanged him with his necktie.

With independence, there were multiple victims: Ferhat Abbas, head of the interim government. He was imprisoned by Ahmed Ben Bella and remained in prison until he was ousted in 1965. Later, Houari Boumediene imposed a house arrest on him from 1976 until the president’s departure in 1978. Benyoucef Benkhedda, the second president of the interim government, waged the "province war" against his supporters, which killed hundreds of people. Benkhedda was defeated and returned to practice his profession as a pharmacist.

Mohamed Boudiaf and Hussein Ait Ahmed, both leaders of the revolution, were charged with conspiracy and sentenced to death. They both lived in exile.

In 1965, Boumediene turned against Ben Bella. He consolidated the authoritarian power, while the country was emptied of prominent opponents. But this was not the case outside the country: in 1967, Mohamed Khider was assassinated in Spain. In 1970, Krim Belkacem was assassinated in Germany. They both came from the historical revolutions. In 1976, the internal crisis was exported in the form of war with Morocco.

Another explosion of the 1980s was the “Amazigh Spring”. It was strange that this happened in Algeria. It was a linguistic revolution.

The Amazighs, who constitute the quarter of the Algerian population, protested for their language rights. The protest turned into civil disobedience. But its crushing did not prevent it from exploding again in 2011 when 120 people were killed before Amazigh was recognized as a national language.

After the death of Boumediene, the urgent task of finding a president became the facade of the military-security complex. The results came as follows:

Chadli Bendjedid: he ruled during 1979 - 1992. He was a military and officer in the Liberation Army. He defended openness. Under his tenure, political pluralism was declared in 1990, to be later abolished in 1991 with the victory of the Salvation Front in the first half of the elections.

He was forced to resign, but the civil war broke out, claiming the lives of 200,000 people.

Social decadence appeared in the most hideous form, with beheadings and assassinations practiced by all the fighters (but later, with the issuance of the law of civil accord, the perpetrators from both camps were pardoned.)

Mohamed Boudiaf, the historical leader of the revolution, was summoned from exile because the regime was now lacking symbols. He was chosen in 1992. He ruled for four months before being assassinated by his personal guard.

Ali Kafi: He also fought in the revolution. He ruled until 1994. Mystery led to his ousting. Mystery at that time, in parallel with the civil war and its atrocities, surrounded the closed circle of the regime. Other prominent figures were assassinated, such as Kasdi Merbah in 1993 and Abou Bakr Belkaid in 1995.

Liamine Zeroual: He participated in the revolution. The army nominated him for the presidency. A new party was created for him in a bid to hint at a serious change. The new party and its present achieved victory in manipulated elections. Zeroual ruled between 1995 and 1998. He resigned and kept silent on the reasons, but he was reportedly opposed to the marginalization of the army of his role, when dealing with Islamic militants in fighting and negotiations.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika: Boumediene’s historical foreign minister. He became president in 1999 and stayed in power until a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the young men and women of Algeria read Frantz Fanon’s book, “The Wretched of the Earth” and how violence against the French colonizer was a cure for the Algerian colonizer. They, no doubt, laughed a lot.

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