Twenty five years ago, on November the first, 1954, Algerian guerrillas began a revolution against French colonial rule of the country.
Twenty five years ago, on November the first, 1954, Algerian guerrillas began a revolution against French colonial rule of the country. After a bitter seven year war, Algeria gained independence, ending more than 130 years of rule by Paris.
SYNOPSIS: The armed rebellion began during the early hours of November the first...with about 40 coordinated attacks. French troops, including parachute battalions, were sent into deal with the uprising. It was the first organised armed resistance to French colonial rule led by the Muslim National Liberation Front, the FLN. The conflict persisted. Four years later, with the one million French settlers in Algeria--dissatisfied at the way the Paris authorities were dealing with the conflict, a rebellion took place--supported by the army there.
There French government collapsed and General De Gaulle became Prime Minister. Two days later he visited Algiers. He received an overwhelming reception from the French settlers. but, through he stepped up military operations--at one stage half a million French troops were in Algeria--control of the country became increasingly difficult in the face of growing Algerian opposition.
The rioting and guerrilla fighting continued. Most of the military action was small-scale, and conducted on Algeria's border regions. And, with the FLN provisional government in Tunis and Cairo gaining increased acceptance from both within Algeria and internationally, De Gaulle moved towards granting the country independence. The cost of the war to France, both financially and politically, was enormous. There were widespread allegations of French brutality and torture. Fighting spread to France itself, and De Gaulle had to deal with an army rebellion in Algeria led by senior generals.
By July, 1962, the FLN had gained their objective. Algeria's independence was proclaimed by General De Gaulle on July the third. The cost in human lives was great. An estimated seventeen thousand French troops were killed and Algerian figures say one and a half million Algerians died. There were over forty thousand acts of terrorism.
Two months after independence was granted, Algeria's first National Assembly was inaugurated. It followed a struggle for power within various Algerian groupings...and serious clashes that almost led to civil war...which ended with Ahmed Ben Bella, one of the revolution's founders, becoming the nation's first Prime Minister. In September, 1963, he took the oath as President. Ben Bella was to hold the post for only a short time. In 1965, the troops he'd reviewed a year earlier sided with Colonel Boumedienne--when finance minister--to oust him in a bloodless coup. Now, after fourteen years detention, and six months after the death of President Boumedienne, it is reported that Ben Bella is to be allowed to go free, on the anniversary of Algeria's revolution.