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The Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)

      In the first November, 1954, the National Liberation Front (FLN) guerrillas launched attacks in various parts of Algeria against French military installations, police posts and public utilities. From Cairo, the FLN broadcast a proclamation calling on Muslims in Algeria to join in national struggle. The French minister of interior, François Mitterrand, responded sharply. The FLN adopted a policy of violent revolution to get independence. On the political front, FLN worked to persuade the Algerian masses to support the aims of the independence movement .As the FLN campaign spread through the country-side, many European farmers in the interior sold their holdings and sought refuge in Algiers.

     In August –September, member of National Council of Algerian Revolution (CNRA) within which the fivemen Committee of Coordination and Enforcement (CCE) formed the executive The FLN convinced communist and Arab members of United Nations (UN) to apply diplomatic pressure on the French government to negotiate a cease-fire.

     During 1956 and 1957,the National Liberation Army (ALN)successfully applied hit and run tactics ,once an engagement was broken off ,the guerrillas merged with the population in the countryside .Gradually ,the FLN and the ALN gained control in certain sectors of the Aures region, the Kabylie region and other mountainous areas in Constantine and Oran. In these places, ALN established military administration that was able to collect taxes, food and to recruit manpower. To increase international and domestic French attention to their struggle, the FLN decided to bring the conflict to the cities and to call a national wide general strike as evidence, the battle of Algiers on September 30, 1956, when three women placed bombs at three sites, including the downtown office of air France. The French army resumed an important role in local Algerian administration through the Special Administration Section(SAS),created in 1955.SAS’s mission was to establish contact with the Muslim population and weaken nationalist influence in the rural areas by asserting the French presence there.SAS officers (blue caps)recruited and trained bands of loyal Muslim irregulars (Harkis).French army constructed barriers to limit infiltration from Tunisia and Morocco .The best known of these was the Maurice Line which consisted of an electrified fence and barbed wire. They bombarded any village suspected of supplying or cooperating with the guerrillas.

     Europeans as well as Muslims greeted De Gaulle’s return to power as the break through needed to end the hostilities .He proposed economic, social and political reforms for Muslims in his appeal he said: "je vous ai comprisI "have understood you ), "vive l’Algerie  Française".  (Long live French Algeria).

   FLN set up the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (GPRA),a government in exile headed by Abbas and based in Tunisia which quickly recognized by Morocco ,Tunisia, Soviet Union (USSR) and several other Arab countries.

   On July 1, 1962, some 6 million of a total Algerian electorate of 6.5 million cast their ballots in the referendum on independence. De Gaulle pronounced Algeria an independent country on July 3.However, the provisional executive proclaimed July 5, the 132nd anniversary of the French entry into Algeria, as the day of national independence .The revolution resulted approximately 1.5 million death of Algerians.

The Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) (written by ARAB Sabrina)


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