Chronography of Algeria
Page last modified 17 January 2023
For events in North Africa, e.g. Libya, Algeria, relating to the Islamic World and Arab Spring see also Islam & Middle East
See also Africa
1 April 2019, Algerian President Bouteflika, who had been in poor health, and faced by protests against his rule, announced that he would step down before his term ended on 28 April 2019.
16 February 2019, Protests against President Bouteflika began in small Algerian towns. By 22 March 2019 these protests had spread to the capital, Algiers.
22 February 2011, Arab Spring protests in Algeria.
2004, President Bouteflika was re-elected.
2002, The Berber language, Tamazight, was recognised as a national, but not official, language.
31 May 2001, In Algiers, 300,000 Berbers marched demanding rights as the original non-Arab inhabitants of the country.
1999, Bouteflika was re-elected, however the poll was boycotted by the opposition.
1/1998, Some 2,000 civilians were massacred in Algeria by Islamic Fundamentalists.
Islamists gain in elections; State attempts to suppress their advance
20 August 1997, Guerrillas massacred 60 and kidnapped 15 women in the town of Souhane, Algeria. This resulted in a mass abandonment of the town, reducing its population from 4,000 to 103.
21 April 1997, In Algeria, Islamists massacred 93 at a farming community at Baouch Bouchelef-Khemisti.
6 April 1997, In Algeria, Islamists massacred 52 people in the village of Thalit, near Algiers.
28 November 1996, Algerians endorsed a new Constitution recognising the Islamic, Algerian and Berber cultures as the main constituents of the Algerian nation. It also effectively banned political Parties with an Islamic foundation, thereby igniting Fundamentalist anger.
11/1995, Presidential elections were won by Liamine Zerouai. However the Opposition boycotted these elctions, so they did not give Zerouai a popular mandate.
9 December 1993. Foreigners began leaving Algeria after death threats by Islamic militants.
7 February 1993. Algeria announced that the state of emergency imposed a year ago because of Islamic fundamentalism would continue indefinitely.
14 December 1992. In Algeria, Muslim extremists ambushed and killed five policemen.
2 July 1992, Ali Kafi became the new President of Algeria.
29 June 1992, The 73 year old President of Algeria, Mohammed Boudiaf, was assassinated whilst making a speech at a political rally.
4 March 1992, The Supreme Court of Algeria declared the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) �illegal. It was poised to win control of the Parliament of Algeria in runoff elections.
11 January 1992, The Algerian Army, alarmed by the electoral victory of the Islamists (see 26 December 1991), mounted a military coup, forcing Benjedid to resign.
26 December 1991, The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) easily won Algerian elections.
12 October 1988, A week of rioting concluded in Algeria, against corruption in the FLN Government. Government buildings and ;luxury goods shops were targeted; Government troops killed 280 rioters.
1987, Algeria signed a co-operation agreement with the USSR.
1971, The Algerian oil industry was nationalised.
29 July 1965, The governments of Algeria and France signed an agreement which allowed French petroleum companies to retain their concessions for the right to drill for oil in Algeria, but required also that they cooperate with Algeria's government-owned oil and gas consortium.
Ben Bella administration, 1962-65
4 July 1979, Algerian leader Ben Bella was released after 14 years in jail.
20 June 1965, Police in Algiers broke up demonstrations by people who had taken to the streets chanting slogans in support of deposed President Ben Bella.
19 June 1965, The President of Algeria, Ben Bella, (born 1918) was overthrown in a military coup by his Minister of Defence, Colonel Houari Boumedienne. Ben Bella� was imprisoned, and released in 1979.
20 February 1964, Ceasfire in the border war between Algeria and Morocco. The French, former colonial power in both countries, had drawn the border without local consultation, and in 10/1963 a border war began. The two countires had a further border conflict in 1967, and clashed again in 1976 over the fate of Spanish Sahara.
8/9/1963, A new Constitution in Algeria established Ben Bella� as President.
26/9/1962, Ahmed ben Bella was elected Prime Minister of Algeria.
25/9/1962, Ferhat Abbas was elected the President of Algeria by the new Constitutional Assembly.
22 August 1962, President De Gaulle of France escaped an assassination attempt by the OAS, a terrorist organisation of White Algerian settlers opposed to De Gaulle�s policies there.
Algerian War of Independence, 1954-62
3 July 1962, France recognised Algerian independence, after a referendum; this also entailed the departure of Algeria from the EU.. The referendum result was 2,605,293 in favour of independence and a tiny 6,732 to stay with France. In many voting districts not a single non-independence vote was cast. Algeria had been under French rule for 132 years. French property was taken over by Algerians.� Ben Bella was the first Prime Minister of Algeria.� De Gaulle had begun peace talks with the FLN on 30 March 1961 and peace was concluded mostly on the FLN�s terms on 18 March 1962.
1 July 1962. Referendum on independence in Algeria. The result was decisive; 5,993,754 voted for independence, and 16,748 opposed it. Most Europeans opposed to independence did not vote. Initially both Muslim Algerians and Europeans celebrated, but within a few days there was violence between fundamentalist Muslims and resentful Europeans in Oran.
6/1962, Morocco invaded the Colomb-Bechar border region of Algeria. The Algerian-Moroccan border had never been formally delineated during French rule of Algeria, and Morocco coveted the iron-rich Tindouf region of far-western Algeria, which Morocco also attacked in August 1962. By October 1962 the Moroccans had the upper hand; however that month Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia� mediated between King Hassan of Morocco and President Ben Bella of Algeria in Mali. The war cost some 60 dead and 250 wounded on the Algerian side; there is no record of Moroccan casualties. The border remained unchanged.
29 May 1962, Negotiations began between the European French Algerian paramilitary rebels of the OAS (Organisation Armee Secrete), and the Arab Algerian independence fighters of the (FLN) Front de Liberation Nationale toward reaching a ceasefire between the two in the Algerian War. Fighting would cease on 17 June 1962, and Algeria became an independent nation, ruled by its Arab Algerian majority population, on 5 July 1962
26 March 1962. The French Army launched an offensive to crush an armed uprising in Algeria. See 3 July 1962.
11 July 1961, The French rebel leaders were tried and sentenced to death (see 21 April 1961).
26 April 1961, French troops loyal to the French Government retook Algiers .
21 April 1961, Rebel French troops unwilling to see Algeria gain independence , led by General Maurice Challe, seized Algiers.
8 January 1961, France held a national referendum on whether Algeria should be granted independence. The result was in favour of independence.
16 October 1960, In the fiercest fighting in Algeria in two years, 277 Muslim Algerian fighters and 40 French soldiers were killed during weekend battles.
24 January 1960. Revolt against French rule broke out in Algeria, after General de Gaulle dismissed the pieds noir hero General Massau. French settlers felt they lacked protection against FLN terrorists and those who had supported De Gaulle 2 years earlier now demonstrated against him. De Gaulle ordered in paratroops who debated whether to open fire on fellow Frenchmen. The order was never given and by February 1960 the revolt had collapsed and many insurgents arrested.
13 December 1959. The UN decided not to intervene in Algeria.
19/9/1958, The FLN formed a provisional Government in Algeria
16/9/1959, Charles de Gaulle, French President, offered Algeria a referendum on independence.
4 June 1958, To the dismay of those who wanted the FLN crushed, Charles de Gaulle appeared to offer the prospect of reconciliation in Algeria.
2 June 1958, French President Charles de Gaulle was granted emergency powers for three months in respect to the Algeria crisis.
13 May 1958. Rioting by French settlers in Algeria led to the French army seizing power.
1957, The French attempted to halt supplies from Tunisia reaching the FLN by constructing the Morice Line, a mined electrified fence along the northern section of Algeria�s border with Tunisia, from Tozeur northwards to the Mediterranean.
18 July 1957, The French National Assembly voted to give the Government special powers to deal with the FLN� insurgency in Algeria.
15 June 1956, Oil was first struck in Algeria.
1956, The French Parliament � with the support of its Communist Party � granted General Jacques Massu and his 10th Parachute Division absolute authority to do �whatever was necessary� to crush the FLN.
31 December 1955, In response to mounting violence in Algeria, France had increased the number of its troops stationed there from 76,000 at the beginning of 1955 to 170,000 by the end of 1955.
20 August 1955, Algerian independence fighters (FLN, Front Liberation National) committed atrocities against Europeans in the Constantine area of Algeria. Simultaneous attacks in 25 towns were co-ordinated by former councillor Zirout Youssef; French military posts, police stations, and the homes of Europeans were hit. ^0 Europeans died in Philippeville. The French responded harshly, with villages suspected of harbouring rebels being razed and 500,000 French troops being sent to maintain order. Barbed wire was erected along the borders with Tunisia and Morocco because these two newly-independent states were aiding the rebels. The French mounted a retaliatory raid into Tunisia, sparking UN intervention.
20 December 1954, France sent an additional 20,000 troops to Algeria to deal with the nationalist uprising there.
1 November 1954. A nationalist uprising began against the French in their colony of Algeria. On 23 December 1954 France sent 20,000 troops to Algeria. By September 1955 there were about 120,000 French troops in Algeria, a number quadrupled by December 1956 with still no end to the troubles in sight.� The war continued until the Evian agreement of March 1962.
6/1954, Pierre Mendes-France became head of the French administration in Algeria.
8 May 1946, Nationalist riots in Algeria
8 May 1945, During French VE celebrations in Setif, Algerian nationalists again agitated for independence. An Algerian carried the forbidden Algerian green and white flag; he was shot dead by French police. The French aftermath was heavy handed, with mass arrests, and the deaths of several tens of thousands of Algerians; 103 Europeans also died.
1 May 1945, During May Day celebrations in Algiers, Algerian nationalist demonstrators staged an unauthorised march, with banners demanding independence from France. French attempts to halt the march led to the deaths of 10 Algerians and one Frenchman.
3 June 1943, Charles de Gaulle of France set up the Committee of National Liberation, through which he promised that Algerians would have a full say in how their country was run after World War Two. De Gaulle�s failure to honour thos promise after the War was a major factor in the hardening of Algerian desire for independence.
1924, Ferhat Abbas (1899-1985) founded the Muslim Student�s Association in Algeria. He served as a volunteer in the French Army from 1939 but after France was defeated, in 1942 he campaigned for Algerian independence, joining the FLN (Front de Liberation Nationale) in 1955. After Algerian independence was achieved in 1962 he became president of the National Constitutent Assembly. He subsequently fell out of favour with the Algerian Government, but was rehabilitated shortly before his death.
1913, Indigenous Algerians were effectively second class citizens in their own country; French subjects but not full French citizens. Akgerians paid the bulk of the taxes but most mayors and other administrators were French, so most of the government revenue was spent on French interests in Algeria. It was an offence for an Algerian Arab to answer back to a French official, and firing guns in the air (a tradition at Arab wedding celebrations) was also illegal.An Algerian could apply to become a French citizen, but would have to renounce their religion to do so, an act of apostasy.
15 April 1908, French troops in Algeria repelled Moroccan raiders.
8 June 1903, The French bombarded the town of Figig, Algeria, in retaliation for indigenous attacks on French colonists.
26 May 1883, Abd el Kader (born 1807), died. He led Arab resistance to the French occupation of Algeria. He also took steps to protect the Christian minority in Algeria, during an anti-Christian uprising in 1860.
1875, Between 1830 and 1875 French colonists had killed some 875,000 Algerians, around 30% of the population. Several hundred thousand more died in famines, exacerbated by European land seizures. Meanwhile by 1881 some 385,000 European settlers had arrived in Algeria.
1871, In the wake of France�s defeat by Prussia, Arabs in Algeria rebelled against the French colonists.
French colonisation of Algeria Wars of Abd el Kader
1848, The first French (Roman Catholic) settlers arrived in Algeria. They seized the best, coastal, lands.
1847, The Sultan of Morocco no longer supported Abd el Kader, who now surrendered, with few men left, to the French General Christophe Lamoriciere. This ended the Third War of Abd el Kader (1840-47)
5 December 1844. The French garrison at Biskra, Algeria, was massacred by the Arabs.
14 August 1844, The French under Bugeaud defeated el Kader�s 45,000 strong army at the Isly River. Abd el Kader again took refuge in Morocco, from where he mounted continued attacks against the French.
1841, French military action drove el Kader into Morocco, where he enlisted the Moroccans as allies against the French.
12/1840, France sent Marshal Thomas R Bugeaud (1789-1849) to Algeria to regain control of the interior from Abd el Kader, who had been building an Islamic anti-French coalition of the peoples there.
1837, The French signed the Treaty of Tafna, ending the Second War of Abd el Kader (1835-37), and recognising el Kader as having sovereignty pover the interior of Algeria. The French controlled just a few ports.
28 June 1835, The French were defeated at Makta, Algeria, by Abd al Qadir.
1834, Under duress, the French signed the Treaty of Desmichels, rcognising Adb el Kader as the Dey (Governor) of Msascara, controlling Oran and the inland regions of Algeria. This Treatry ended the First war of Abd el Kader (1832-34). The French hoped to co-opt el Kader as an agent for French influence in the interior of Algeria, but French military opposition to el Kaders forces continued, the French losing many battles. This led to the Second War of Adb el Kader )1835-37).�
5 July 1830. Algiers capitulated to a French invasion force. France had maintained economic relations with the Algiers
coastal area (Barbary coast) since the 16th century. French coral fishermen had operated there, and wheat was bought from Algeria to send to France. In 1827 a dispute arose between the French and two Jews of Algiers, Bakri and Busnach. In the course of the negotiations in April 1827 the Dey of Algiers struck Deval, the French consul, with a fly whisk. This was used by the French as an excuse for armed intervention. A three-year blockade of Algiers followed, followed by 38,000 French troops landing at Sidi Ferruch on 5 July 1830. Algiers capitulated on 5 July 1830. However the French found that occupying Algiers by no means gave them control over the interior of the country and its indigenous Berber �population. Only by 1848 was the French conquest of Algeria complete.
17 August 1816, Algiers was bombarded by an Anglo-Dutch force seeking the release of Christian slaves.
1509, The Spanish occupied Oran, which had been founded in the 900s by Moors.
944, Foundation of the city of Algeirs.
683, Arab invasions brought Islam to Algeria.
429, Vandal invasions ended Roman rule.