Algeria: key historical events
Page last modified 6/1/2021
For events in North Africa,
e.g. Libya, Algeria, relating to the Islamic
World and Arab Spring see also Islam & Middle
See also Africa
1/4/2019, 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 28/4/2019.
16/2/2019, Protests against President Bouteflika began in
small Algerian towns. By 22/3/2019 these protests had spread to the capital,
Spring protests in Algeria.
Bouteflika was re-elected.
Berber language, Tamazight, was
recognised as a national, but not official, language.
protests, hundreds killed.
was re-elected, however the poll was boycotted by the opposition.
Democratic Presidential elections were won by Liamine Zerouai.
9/12/1993. Foreigners began leaving Algeria after death threats
by Islamic militants.
7/2/1993. Algeria announced that the state of emergency imposed
a year ago because of Islamic fundamentalism would continue indefinitely.
14/12/1992. In Algeria, Muslim extremists ambushed and killed five
Kafi became the new President of Algeria.
29/6/1992, The 73 year old President of Algeria, Mohammed Boudiaf, was
assassinated whilst making a speech at a political rally.
4/3/1992, 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.
11/1/1992, The Algerian Army, alarmed by the electoral victory of the Islamists
(see 26/12/1991), mounted a military coup, forcing Benjedid to resign.
26/12/1991, The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) easily won Algerian
1987, Algeria signed a co-operation
agreement with the
4/7/1979, Algerian leader Ben Bella was released after 14 years in jail.
1971, The Algerian oil
industry was nationalised.
29/7/1965, 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.
20/6/1965, Police in Algiers broke up demonstrations by people who had taken to
the streets chanting slogans in support of deposed President Ben Bella.
19/6/1965, 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.
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.
Abbas was elected the President of Algeria by the new Constitutional
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
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 30/3/1961 and peace was concluded mostly on the FLN’s terms on 18/3/1962.
1/7/1962. 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
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.
French Army launched an offensive to crush an armed uprising in Algeria. See
held a national referendum
on whether Algeria should be granted independence. The result was in favour of
24/1/1960. 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
13/12/1959. The UN decided not
to intervene in Algeria.
16/9/1959, Charles de Gaulle, French President, offered Algeria a
referendum on independence.
the dismay of those who wanted the FLN crushed, Charles de Gaulle appeared to offer the
prospect of reconciliation in Algeria.
de Gaulle was granted emergency powers for three months in respect
to the Algeria crisis.
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.
15/6/1956, 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
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.
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.
sent 20,000 troops to Algeria.
1/11/1954. A nationalist uprising began against the French in
their colony of Algeria.
On 23/12/1954 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.
8/5/1945, 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.
1/5/1945, 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.
3/6/1943, 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 subsequentlt fell out of favour with the
Algerian Government, but was rehabilitated shortly before his death.
8/6/1903, The French bombarded the town of Figig,
Algeria, in retaliation for indigenous attacks on French colonialists.
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
1848, The first French (Roman Catholic) settlers arrived in
Algeria. They seized the best, coastal, lands.
5/12/1844. The French garrison at Biskra, Algeria, was massacred by the
28/6/1835, The French
were defeated at Makta, Algeria, by Abd al Qadir.
5/7/1830. 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 5/7/1830. Algiers capitulated on 5/7/1830. 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.
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
429, Vandal invasions ended Roman
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