Formal name: Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria ( Al-Jumhuriya Al-Jazair Al-Democratia Al-Chaabia).
Population: 29,398,235 (1998 census); 30,500,000 (2001 est.).
Although the situation in Algeria has dramatically improved from the most difficult moments of the crisis in 1993-4 and 1997-8, a final solution to the ongoing conflict remains elusive. The state of emergency imposed in February 1992 remains in force, despite widespread criticism from Algerian and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of the exceptions to the normal process of law that it grants. Serious disturbances in the Kabylia region over the spring and summer of 2001 emphasised the tremendous gulf that continues to exist between a privileged ruling elite and the huge, disenfranchised majority of the overwhelmingly young population. The Algerian government is extremely wary of any international involvement. The movement of journalists is highly restricted, as are the activities of most international observers and NGO groups that have attempted to visit the country. The extreme difficulty of accessing reliable information and the much-remarked 'opacity' of the political process are among the most perplexing problems facing those who wish to understand this crisis.
The conflict has resulted in the deaths of between 100,000 and 150,000 people. The serious level of violence throughout the 1990s produced very significant levels of internal displacement, estimated at 200,000 by the Global IDP Project. This situation has been exacerbated by regular serious earthquakes (the most recent, in May 2003, affected Algiers and the surrounding region, killing 1,600 people and leaving almost 180,000 homeless), floods, and serious drought. Estimates of the number of people to have left the country vary from 250,000 to 450,000. UNHCR figures show that 70,000 Algerians have claimed asylum in Western Europe and North America since 1992, but the total number who have left is undoubtedly far higher. Many Algerians have been able to obtain other forms of secure status, particularly in those countries with significant Algerian communities and established ties to Algeria, most significantly France. Others have simply remained undocumented. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that over the last decade, significant groups of Algerians have become established in Eastern Europe, francophone West Africa, and the Middle East, though official statistics are not available to establish the exact size of these groups. There can be little doubt that the ongoing violence in Algeria is the most significant, if not the only factor provoking this international migration. The Algerian government is always keen to highlight the fact that it is also a significant host of refugees. Algerian government figures refer to 165,000 Saharwi and 5,000 Palestinian refugees resident in Algeria, though the size of the Saharwi refugee population is contested by international NGO groups.
- Algeria Interface http://www.algeria-interface.com/
- INCORE guide to Internet sources on conflict and ethnicity in Algeria http://www.incore.ulst.ac.uk/cds/countries/algeria.html
- CIA Factbook: Algeria http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ag.html
- Law Library of Congress Algeria guide http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/algeria.html
Early and colonial history
The original inhabitants of Algeria were Imazighen (singular, Amazigh), the preferred self-description of
The foundations of Algeria's political system were laid during the period of Ottoman rule from 1525 to 1830. In 1830 France took control of the coastal areas and gradually extended its influence through an active settlement policy, which gathered pace from 1872 onwards. France did not administer Algeria as a colonial territory but, uniquely in the French empire, as an integral part of France. The intensity of the relationship between France and Algeria has had a lasting effect on both countries. The Algerian independence movement originated in France, in 1926, away from the stricter controls on the Muslim population in Algeria itself (Stora 1992). The movement evolved through various coalitions and disputes to form a united Front de Liberation National (FLN) which organised the war against France and later formed the machinery of the Algerian state.
Algeria gained independence on 5 July 1962, following the brutal 1954-62 war in which a million people are considered to have lost their lives (Horne 1996). The intensity of this war can best be explained by the status of Algeria within the French consciousness. It was not simply a war to eject a colonising power (though it is often called the 'Algerian war of independence' in English), but a struggle between two groups for recognition and ownership of a country to which they believed they had an equal right. In Algeria it is simply called 'the revolution', and the continued significance of this event can be seen from the fact that Algeria's national holiday is not 5 July, the date on which independence was achieved in 1962, but 1 November, when the first shots of the war were fired in 1954. Even today, though the vast majority of the population was not even born when independence was achieved, the legitimacy of political leaders and parties continues to draw directly on the extent of their participation in the revolution. Commentators, such as Martinez (1998) have looked to the almost ritualised significance of violent struggle in Algerian history, particularly the revolution, for an explanation of the continued violence in Algeria today.
Independence left Algeria in turmoil. Much of the European population, known as the pieds noirs, had been resident in the country for three or even four generations (Stora 1991). The huge majority of pieds noirs left the country in the months surrounding independence. Algerian state bureaucracy and the most profitable companies and agricultural estates were all run by pieds noirs, and their hasty departure left Algeria without anywhere near the necessary personnel to operate the state machinery or support economic development. Algerians who had fought for the French army, known as harkis, were severely persecuted by the rest of the population. As many as 100,000 harkis were killed, and those who could joined the pieds noirs in fleeing the country. More than a million people, mainly pieds noirs, left Algeria during 1962. In 1961, a small faction of pieds noirs and French military personnel formed the extremist right-wing Secret Armed Organisation (OAS). The OAS carried out violent attacks against both French and Algerian targets with the aim of destabilising Algeria, and operated a scorched-earth policy to ensure that the new country was left with as few resources as possible (Kauffer 2002). In addition to the severity of these problems, the newly independent Algeria had also been exhausted by eight years of war, more than 70 per cent of the population were unemployed, and disease and poverty caused widespread suffering. On independence, the FLN effectively formed the state. Algeria's first president, Ahmed Ben-Bella, was formerly elected in 1963, the year following independence. The situation remained unstable during 1963, and several significant leaders of the 1954-62 war mounted challenges to Ben-Bella's leadership, including Hocine Ait Ahmed (who led an armed rebellion of his Front des Forces Socialists [FFS]), and Mohammed Boudiaf. Both of these leaders went into exile, from where Ait Ahmed continued his political opposition through the FFS.
Ben-Bella's increasingly dictatorial style provoked widespread popular resentment. He was deposed in a bloodless coup in June 1965 by Houari Boumediène. Ben-Bella was initially imprisoned and then went into exile, where he too organised an anti-government opposition party from his French home, continuing the tradition of powerful expatriate groups operating from France which had begun with the independence movement itself. Boumediène is really the only Algerian head of state to have been fully in charge, rather than under the significant control of powerful figures in the army. He cancelled the 1963 constitution, and until 1976 he ruled through the Council of the Revolution. In 1976 he introduced a new constitution and was elected president. His unexpected death in 1978 left his socialist projects unfinished, and these were largely abandoned by his successor, Chadli Bendjedid, who was elected in 1979.
The Chadli regime saw popular unrest by the Kabyle minority. In 1980, the cancellation of a cultural lecture in Tizi Ouzou, the most significant town in Kabylia, provoked rioting that was brutally repressed by the gendarmerie. The Kabyle minority has celebrated this event annually ever since as the 'Berber Spring'. Agitation by radical Islamists provoked more widespread unrest throughout the early 1980s. In 1984 the government passed the controversial Family Code in an attempt to placate Islamist opinion. This legislation formalises gender inequality in matters of private law. It remains in force, and its abrogation is demanded by many civil society groups. In the early 1980s the Chadli government also introduced a number of measures to liberalise the economy, which resulted in significant price rises on basic foodstuffs. By 1988 popular discontent at the corruption and ineffectiveness of the regime spilled over, and in October, riots in Algiers lasted several days and spread to other cities. They were violently suppressed by the army, and unofficial figures estimate the death toll to have been 500. In 1989 Chadli introduced a new constitution, which legalised political parties, downgraded the role of the army, and introduced significant new freedoms.
For a short time the new constitution seemed to herald a more positive era, and Algeria was viewed as a model of success of freedom and democracy (Entelis 1992; Willis 1996). Greater freedom of the press encouraged the establishment of new independent newspapers and magazines. More than 150 were launched between 1990 and 1994 (Merril 1995, quoted in Lloyd 2003:30). Civil society flourished, new groups were established, and those that had been operating for some time were allowed a greater degree of freedom, particularly affecting women's organisations that had developed in opposition to the Family Code, and human rights organisations such as the Algerian League for Human Rights (LADH). Trades unions also developed as the monopoly of the FLN-sponsored General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) was relaxed. More than sixty political parties were legalised, including a loose federation of diverse Islam-based groups, the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS), which quickly attained a massive base of support. The FIS won the 1990 local elections extremely convincingly and, although their leaders were imprisoned and the following general elections delayed, they also dominated the first round of the general elections finally held in December 1991 and looked certain to achieve a huge majority in the second round. In January 1992 the army cancelled the second round, forced Chadli to resign, and set up a High State Committee (HCE) to take over his functions. This is considered by most observers to mark the beginning of the conflict, and on his election in 1999 President Bouteflika declared the army's actions to be the first 'violence' that had been committed.
The current conflict
Reliable information, and therefore real analysis, of the current conflict is unusual. There is not even any significant consensus amongst commentators over the fundamental causes of the conflict or how it should be characterised. The unrest stems from the army's decision to cancel the elections in an effort to prevent the certain victory the FIS. Although many commentators agree that the political situation in Algeria had been growing increasingly delicate throughout the 1980s, the cancellation of the elections created the climate of instability that allowed the crisis to deepen further (Volpi 2003). The army violently suppressed any further activity by FIS activists and supporters, imprisoning thousands in specially constructed internment camps in the Sahara. Since the FIS represented such a diverse range of opinions, the various currents soon began to diverge. Some of their members fled the country in an effort to escape or continue a politically based combat; others began organising an armed guerrilla struggle against the army and, increasingly, the civilian population. In July 1992 Mohammed Boudiaf, who had been brought back from exile by the army to head the HCE, was assassinated. This event really confirmed the severity of the crisis.
The nature of the armed groups is also very diverse, and there have been at least seven identifiably different groups involved in the fighting (Khelassi 1998). Some, such as the armed wing of the FIS, the AIS, targeted only members of the armed forces and declared a unilateral cease-fire in 1997. More extreme factions, such as the diverse Groupe Islamique Armée ( Al Jama'a Al Islamia Al Musallah) (GIA) undertook a far more vicious campaign against the civilian population. From 1993 onwards, prominent intellectuals were assassinated in attacks generally claimed in the name of the GIA. By 1993, armed groups were the de facto authority in significant parts of the country, including the suburbs of Algiers. They administered justice, maintained prisons, and operated freely.
A significant amount of international aid began to arrive in 1994, most notably from France (Esprit 1995). This included considerable amounts of military hardware, which permitted the army to gradually reassert their position, though the violence escalated considerably towards the end of the year. In November 1995, presidential elections confirmed Liamine Zeroual, the former defence minister, as the new head of state, and in 1996 he issued a revised constitution which was confirmed by a significant majority of the population in elections in November.
In 1994 and 1995, armed groups attempted to involve France directly in the conflict. In December 1994, an Air France plane was hijacked at Algiers airport, and over the summer of 1995 there were a number of explosions in Paris, in which twenty-six people were killed. All were claimed by the GIA. France responded severely, and initiated a dramatic security clamp-down, stopping and searching thousands of individuals of North African origin. The French government openly criticised other European states who did not respond similarly, particularly the UK and Germany, where it was thought that radical Islamists were allowed a greater degree of freedom for organisation and fundraising activities. In 1995 a group of eight opposition parties, including the FIS, agreed a joint platform for a peaceful solution to the crisis at the community of St Egidio in Rome. This was considered by some observers as the best opportunity for resolving the crisis at the time, but it was rejected by the Algerian government.
During 1997, massacres of the civilian population became increasingly serious. In August and September, and again in January 1998, hundreds of individuals were slaughtered in villages and towns of the Mitidja, an area lying between Algiers and the Atlas Mountains to the South. These events increased pressure for an international enquiry into events in Algeria from international NGOs such as Amnesty International, as well as significant personalities amongst the Algerian community in Europe. The Algerian government resisted this pressure, but did permit visits of the European Union troika, a European Parliament delegation and a UN Panel of Eminent Persons. All three reported only moderate criticisms of the Algerian government.
In April 1999 Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected as head of state, though the elections were widely criticised as fraudulent and the six other candidates withdrew in protest. Bouteflika presented a far more open style of government, which was initially greeted optimistically. He introduced a law on 'civil concord', which was put to national referendum in September. The centrepiece of this legislation was an amnesty for members of armed groups who had not committed serious violent crimes. This met with some success, but when the amnesty expired in January 2000, the GIA and the Salafi Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) continued their guerrilla strategy, and the army resumed operations against them. The Algerian strategy for tackling these groups focuses on eliminating them with only peripheral concern for human rights abuses and civilian casualties. In the international environment that has prevailed since 11 September 2001, this strategy has met with increased international approval, and in December 2002 Algeria signed a significant new arms deal with the US government.
April 2001 marked the twenty-first anniversary of the 'Berber Spring'. Police responded to disturbances in Kabylia with excessive force, and an estimated eighty people were killed over the next few months in an event that has become known as the 'Black Spring' (see Disturbances in Kabylia). Two official enquiries were especially critical of the police and the government's response. The violence in the region has eased, but tensions remain extremely high, and there were further deaths in April 2002.
- UNHCR/ACCORD European Country of Origin Reports: Algeria (M. François Burgat 2001) http://www.ecoi.net/pub/mv99_cois2001-alg.pdf
- Library of Congress Country Studies: Algeria http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/dztoc.html
- Text of St Egidio Platform of 13 January 1995 (in French) http://members.tripod.com/~AlgeriaWatch/rome.html
Independent Algeria has had four constitutions introducing varying degrees of democracy, though in practice, the rights guaranteed in these constitutions have been fairly superficial and the army has maintained real power virtually from independence. The first constitution received popular assent in 1963. It established the FLN as the source of legitimacy of state power, and the party of the FLN as the only party. In 1965 Boumedienne effectively cancelled this system, and until 1976 Algeria was ruled by the Council of the Revolution. During this time there was no constitution. The constitution of 1976 instigated the Second Algerian Republic and established the National Popular Assembly (APN). There were regular elections to the APN, but all candidates were selected from a single list and approved by the FLN council.
President Chadli modified this constitution in 1986 to water down the commitment to socialist principles. Following the riots of October 1988, he produced a new constitution that was approved in 1989. This ended the one-party system and the dominance of the FLN. The repercussions of the end of FLN rule were very significant, and the removal of controls permitted the growth of a vibrant new civil society (see The current conflict). The 1989 constitution specified that parties based on religious, ethnic, or regional identity would not be recognised, but nonetheless the FIS was approved, in addition to a number of Berber parties such as the FFS. On the eve of the country's first multiparty elections, the local elections of 1990, almost sixty parties had received official approval. A number of commentators have suggested that the FIS was only recognised to act as a counterbalance to the FLN, since several members of the FLN council had been extremely unhappy with the constitution. In the end, the FIS dominated the elections. They went on to win a huge majority in the first round of general elections of December 1991. Algeria was again without a constitution from the cancellation of the second round of these elections to the introduction of the country's fourth constitution in 1996.
The executive has always been the dominant section of government, and in the early history of Algeria this power was concentrated in the hands of the president. Ever since Chadli was forced to resign in 1992, the army has exerted a tremendous influence on the president, and the office of the president has become much weaker. The president appoints members of the judiciary, and although the APN is nominally democratically elected and some elections have been commended by international observers, few people outside the government would claim that the make-up of the APN bears much relationship to votes cast.
Political parties represent three main tendencies: pro-regime parties, such as the FLN or the RND; Berber parties, the FFS and the RCD, both of which are rooted in Kabylia; and Islamist parties (though the FIS remains illegal, several have received approval, including MSP and the recently successful MRN). The fortunes of the parties have varied considerably over time. Some observers claim that they represent very little (Willis 2002), others see them as a reflection of the factional struggle that goes on behind the scenes (Roberts 2003). The 1996 constitution introduced eight deputies to represent the emigrant community, who are voted for directly by emigrants in different sections of the world. The distribution of these deputies reflects the distribution of the Algerian emigrant community as a whole: four represent France; there is one for the rest of Europe; one for the Middle East and the rest of Africa; one for the Americas; and one for Asia and Australasia.
- Current (1996) constitution http://www.joradp.dz
- National People's Assembly: first chamber http://www.apn-dz.org/apn/english/index.htm
- National Council: second legislative chamber (in French and Arabic) http://www.majliselouma.dz/new_site/page_web3.html
Approximately 80 per cent of the Algerian population are Arab, and the remaining 20 per cent Amazigh. The 1966 census was the last to specifically investigate this distinction, and it has always been very fluid, so this is only a rough estimate, but one that is widely quoted and accepted. The largest Amazigh group is the Kabyles from the Atlas Mountains very close to the capital. They make up approximately 15 per cent of the population. Chaouia, mainly from the Aures region, are also significant at 3-4 per cent of the population. Finally there are two much smaller groups: the Mzab ( Mouzabite in French) from the south, and the Touareg from the far southern Sahara. About a million European colons left in the months following independence. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s significant numbers of Europeans remained, often working in education, but during the current conflict their numbers have dwindled, particularly following a general threat against foreigners from the GIA in 1993, and only a very small number are still resident.
The official language of Algeria is Modern Standard Arabic, though this is rarely spoken outside official situations. The huge majority of the population speak the Algerian dialect of Arabic, which is similar to Moroccan and Tunisian Arabic but very different from the Arabic dialects of the Mashrek. The Amazigh population speak Tamazight. Each of the four groups speaks a different dialect of this language, but they are more or less mutually comprehensible. The official recognition of this language is one of the main demands of Berber civil society groups such as the Berber Cultural Movement (MCB) as well as the two Berber political parties, the FFS and RCD. In 2002, President Bouteflika did recognise Tamazight as a national language, but this falls somewhat short of the recognition as an official language that has always been demanded. French is very widely spoken. Since the mid 1970s Arabic has gradually taken over as the main language of instruction in schools and universities, but it continues to be the language of business, and a significant proportion of Algerians speaks it very well or fluently.
European influences are visible at many levels of Algerian society and culture (Lloyd 2003). This results from the continued effects of 132 years of colonial rule, the significant influence of migrants living in Europe, and contemporary cultural influences, particularly satellite television, but also advertising, and increasingly the Internet. These influences are not imposed directly or taken up unquestioningly, but filtered and reinterpreted into a cultural form that is clearly distinct from both Western Europe and the Mashrek. Algerian media is diverse and very widely consumed, and produces an outlet for political commentary on Algerian and international issues (Ghezali 1999). Significant cultural figures in music (Schade-Poulsen 1999) and literature (Bon 1985) have developed uniquely Algerian styles, which have in turn influenced cultural production in Europe, particularly France, and gained tremendous popularity across the Mashrek. Algerian culture was celebrated in France during the high-profile 'Year of Algeria' in 2003. This raised considerable controversy and emphasised both the political nature of cultural celebration and the enduring political divisions in Algeria ( Le Monde, 6 February 2003).
Some 98 per cent of Algerians are officially Sunni Muslims of the Malekite judicial school. Throughout North Africa, strict Islamic practice is traditionally combined with veneration of local saints, particularly in the countryside. The Mzab belong to a minority sect of Islam. Most Algerian Jews left either for Israel in 1948 or for France in 1962. The tiny European minority consists of mostly Catholics, and there is a cathedral in Algiers.
Geography, society and economy
Algeria is the second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan), approximately 2.4 million square kilometres. Much of this is desert, and more than 90 per cent of the population live in a relatively narrow strip within 50 kilometres of the sea. This northern coastal zone suffers from regular earthquakes, most recently in May 2003 (see Disaster-induced displacement). The population continues to grow rapidly, though the rate of increase is beginning to fall. The population at the last census in 1998 was 29,398,235. In 2001 it was estimated to have reached 30.5 million. Seventy-five per cent of the population is aged under 30, and 50 per cent is under 25. The official unemployment rate is 30 per cent, but as many as 70 per cent of people under 30 cannot find adequate employment (US Department of State 2003).
Algeria is highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for 95 per cent of foreign export earnings, 60 per cent of government revenue, and 30 per cent of GDP (Aïssaoui 2001). The hydrocarbon sector has been relatively unaffected by the conflict, and growing oil revenues have enabled the government to begin to pay off Algeria's international debt burden, which has been slowly shrinking in recent years. The national hydrocarbon company, Sonatrach, is the largest company in Africa. Steady income from oil and gas has sheltered Algeria from the need to confront urgent social and economic problems, such as unemployment. Sustained income from petrochemicals has not been translated into improved living conditions for the majority of Algerians (ICG 2001). In contrast to the highly internationalised petrochemicals sector, domestic industry has collapsed, and per capita income has fallen from US$2,800 in 1988 (Ghiles 1998) to US$1,600 in 2000 (US Department of State 2001). The effect of falling salaries has been exacerbated by rising prices of basic foodstuffs, caused by the removal of subsidies demanded in IMF-sponsored reforms. As the number of poor has risen, so the support structures of public services have closed. More than 200,000 public service workers lost their jobs between 1995 and 2000 ( Africa Research Bulletin 37(2) 2000).
There is also a serious housing crisis provoked by the rapidly growing population. In 1998 there were an average of seven people per household (ONS 2000). In 1994 a third of all households lived in three rooms, and a fifth in only a single room (Lalami-Fates 1995). The lack of housing means that most young people now live with their parents much longer than had been the case previously. Almost 90 per cent of 6- to 15-year-olds attend school, though class sizes are often very large. University is also well attended, and in 1998 there were more than 370,000 students enrolled, the majority of them women.
Causes and consequences
There can be little doubt that the principle reason for the considerable internal and international movement of people over the last ten years has been the ongoing violence in Algeria. Since 1992, between 100,000 and 150,000 people have been killed. Although the situation is currently much calmer, the death rate remains extremely high: almost 1,400 people were killed in 2002, and throughout 2003, over 120 people per month have died in the violence.
The origins of the violence
Essentially the conflict is between the Algerian army and a diverse range of armed guerrilla groups who claim to act for an ill-defined conception of an Islamic state. The significant Kabyle minority has periodically entered this conflict as a third force, generally political but occasionally by taking up-or threatening to take up-arms themselves. The conflict has been further complicated by internecine struggles within and between different armed groups. In addition to this, the goal and strategy of the army are not static, but evolve in relation to political conflicts between different factions of the Algerian regime. The obvious complexity of this situation, combined with the inadequacy and unreliability of available information, most significantly due to government-imposed restrictions, ensures that explanations can only really be tentative.
Human rights abuses
The majority of civilian deaths have resulted from the activities of armed groups. Sporadic attacks on the army and civilians from armed groups have occurred periodically since the early 1970s, but after 1992 they became an endemic aspect of the conflict. In the early stages of the conflict, specific individuals were targeted. These were frequently prominent liberal figures-writers, journalists or musicians-and this provoked a significant exodus of those people who were threatened. False roadblocks were also widely used early in the conflict and continue to cause fear on more remote stretches of road. Members of the armed groups, often dressed in official police or army uniforms, stop vehicles and rob, abduct, or kill their occupants. The most terrible aspect of the conflict, which caused international outrage in 1997 and 1998, has been large-scale massacres of the civilian population. These activities created a climate of terror in the area south of Algiers where the most brutal massacres were carried out during 1997. In the most serious events, groups of men armed with knives and axes spent hours killing hundreds of inhabitants of certain neighbourhoods or villages such as Raïs, Beni Messous, and Bentalha. Armed groups have also regularly set bombs in public places, indiscriminately killing civilians; in 2002, a bomb in the crowded market of Larba, south of Algiers, killed more than forty people.
A key part of the government's response, particularly in the light of massacres of the civilian population, has been the formation of 'legitimate defence groups' (GLD), also known as 'patriots'. In 1998 the government referred to the existence of 5,000 of these paramilitary militias. They typically go far beyond their self-defence remit and carry out attacks or ambushes of armed groups, either alone or in support of the army. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have continually expressed concern that the activities of these paramilitaries are unregulated and that they have been allowed to carry out extra-judicial killings with impunity.
Under the provisions of the state of emergency, which has been in force since February 1992, the army is virtually unconstrained by legal controls. The army's brutal counter-terrorism strategy has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths, according to national and international human rights groups. In 1992 a special anti-terrorism unit was formed, which went into service in 1994 and has had tremendous powers to detain and punish suspects. Extra-judicial executions are widespread and are regularly criticised in the annual reports of Amnesty International, the US State Department, and Human Rights Watch. Torture is also widely used, and remains 'prevalent and systematic' for individuals suspected of involvement with armed groups, according to Amnesty's report from their 2003 visit (Amnesty International 2003a).
Although most organisations have welcomed improvements in Algeria's human rights record, in recent years there are a number of continuing problems which are referred to in a range of reports (US State Department 2003; Amnesty International 2003b; Human Rights Watch 2003). A number of organisations express concern that few people are brought to trial from either guerrilla groups or the armed forces for established patterns of human rights abuses. A degree of impunity for membership of guerrilla groups was established in Bouteflika's civil concord law in 1999, but details of those pardoned is not public, and there is widespread concern that this has been extended even to those who have committed serious crimes. It is also extremely rare that anyone from the armed forces or police is brought to trial for serious crimes they are alleged to have committed.
- US Department of State: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2002 http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18272pf.htm
- Human Rights Watch Report, 2003 http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/mideast1.html
- Amnesty International Report, 2002 (AI Index: POL 10/003/2003), available at http://www.amnesty.org
One of the greatest areas of concern for human rights groups is the situation of 'disappeared' people. Although there have been very few cases of disappearances reported recently, estimates of the number of individuals who have been 'disappeared' by security forces in Algeria between 1992 and 1998 range from 3,500 to 10,000. This is certainly one of the highest rates of disappearances anywhere in the world over the last decade. The government's attitude to disappearances has evolved considerably over the last few years, though the situation has yet to find a consistent response. As recently as 1997, government officials argued that all of the people considered as 'disappeared' by their families could be accounted for. They claimed that the individuals had either been killed by armed groups, or had actually left to join armed groups and were wanted by the government; whereas, in many cases, their families had witnessed their arrests by agents of the state and had not seen them since.
The government first acknowledged that there was a problem in 1998, but claimed that most of the cases had already been solved; very little was done about it. Soon after his election in April 1999, Bouteflika underlined his determination to tackle the situation and spoke of 10,000 disappearances, a much higher figure than that given by human rights groups. Within a year, his enthusiasm appeared to be waning and, although many cases of disappearance were cited as solved by the government, these were largely unverifiable. The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has pursued 1,133 cases with the Algerian government over the last decade, but its most recent report lists only thirteen cases as 'clarified'.
The government's response to NGOs campaigning for effective treatment of the issue of the 'disappeared' has not matched advances in other areas. Neither the National Association for Families of the Disappeared, nor the Association for Families of the Disappeared in Constantine or Somoutou, have received official recognition. Demonstrations by these organisations are frequently broken up by the police, and an international conference they organised in January 2003 was disrupted by the refusal to grant visas to foreign participants. Although there are virtually no new cases of disappearances reported, human rights groups are concerned about prolonged 'secret' detention, which has a similar effect.
- Collectif des families des disparu(e)s en Algérie (in French) http://www.maghreb-ddh.sgdg.org/cfda/index.html
- Human Rights Watch: 'Neither among the living nor the dead: state sponsored "disappearances" in Algeria', 1998 http://www.hrw.org/reports98/algeria2/; 'Time for reckoning: enforced disappearances in Algeria', 2003 http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/algeria0203/
- UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances Report, 2002 http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/TestFrame/f5cefa4dfb6ad460c1256ba0004bb8d3?Opendocument
Guerrilla groups claiming inspiration from Islamic principles have caused tremendous suffering and loss of life in the current conflict. They are sometimes referred to as Islamic groups, but this is something of a misnomer in a country where they represent the views of such a tiny minority of the overwhelmingly Islamic population. They have gained notoriety over the last decade, but similar groups have existed before. The association Al Qiyam, formed in the mid 1960s, was perhaps the forerunner of radical Islam, establishing the style and concerns that would be taken up by the contemporary radical Islamist movement (Roberts 2003; Euzière 1999). From 1982 to 1987, Mustapha Bouyali led a group known as the Mouvement Islamique Armé (MIA) in the Atlas Mountains, which stole money and arms and killed a number of police officers in their attempts to evade arrest (Martinez 1998).
Soon after the cancellations of the 1992 elections, the MIA was resuscitated under new leadership. It was rapidly joined by a diverse range of organisations such as Al Takfir w'al Hijra (Excommunication and Hegire) or the armed wing of the FIS, the AIS. These groups were committed to guerrilla warfare, though their strategies soon began to diverge, and further groups formed from disputes or the arrival of individuals sufficiently disillusioned and desperate to become involved. The GIA is one of the most well known of these groups. It appeared early in 1993, and has claimed the majority of the most violent attacks. It is extremely difficult to follow the changing fortunes and internal disputes of these groups. For many years, journalists were absent from large areas of the country, faced with government-imposed restrictions and threats from armed groups who deliberately targeted them for assassination; so virtually the only available information comes from the groups' own irregular and self-serving communiqués. Khelassi (1998) has pieced together various available sources of information, and cites at least seven separate factions of guerrilla groups.
In 1997 the AIS agreed to abandon their fight, though this was not announced until 1999 (Stora 2001). The GIA did not approve of this strategy, and as early as 1996 there were accusations that the GIA was responsible for the assassination of political figures in the FIS (Martinez 1998:361). The most terrible massacres of 1997 were in areas that had traditionally been loyal to the FIS in the Mitidja, south of Algiers, and in the mountains near Relizane. The continued struggle between the FIS and the GIA is one explanation for this. Indeed, this is a pattern that has continued; for example, the town of Larba, the site of a serious bomb attack on the fortieth anniversary of independence in 2002, has always been considered as strongly supportive of political Islam.
Soon after election in 1999, Bouteflika announced a wide-ranging amnesty for guerrilla fighters who gave themselves up, and an early-release programme for prisoners, as part of his civil harmony law. Although a significant number of fighters did leave the armed groups (400, according to Le Monde, 13 January 2000) this amnesty was generally considered a failure since it was soon apparent that it had had little effect on the level of violence ( Le Monde, 11 April 2000). Some commentators even point to the amnesty and early-release programme to explain the rise of one of the more recent armed groups, the Groupe Salafiste pour la Predication et le Combat (GPSC), which, along with the GIA, refused the amnesty (Addi 2001). Throughout the conflict these groups have been linked to organised crime and strategies for the personal enrichment of their leaders. This seems the most likely explanation for their continued struggle, since in the current situation it is impossible to imagine the violent overthrow of the Algerian state.
- Civil harmony law (in French) http://www.el-mouradia.dz/francais/algerie/histoire/loi_sur_la_concorde_civile.htm
The armed forces
There can be little doubt that the real power of the Algerian state lies not with the elected representatives, but with the high-ranking military officials who have remained in place for the duration of the conflict. The conflicts at the heart of the regime are played out between different factions in this arena, rather than in the more transparent context of party politics and the democratic institutions of the national and regional assemblies. The legitimacy of these powerful figures in the Algerian regime rests on the legitimacy of the armed forces, and any criticism of the armed forces is a delicate and difficult matter. Despite widespread evidence for the involvement of the armed forces in regular and serious human rights abuses, including torture, extra-judicial killings, and disappearances, it is extremely rare for any individuals to receive any punishment or even official sanction. Where the government has acknowledged the abusive activities of the armed forces, they have been explained as the transgressions of over-zealous individuals, though human rights groups have been unable to verify claims that any members of the armed forces have been punished.
Throughout the conflict, much more serious allegations have been made of the more organised involvement of the armed forces in human rights abuses. Perhaps the most significant of these allegations were made in two book-length eyewitness accounts that related particularly to the involvement of the army in massacres of the civilian population (Yous 2000; Souadia 2001). The claims of these books have been picked over in great detail, and a whole range of factual inaccuracies has been found. They have met with a particularly aggressive reaction from certain sectors in France, who have robustly rejected the implications that Islamist armed groups should be relieved of a certain degree of responsibility for acts that have been committed (Sifaoui 2002). However, the allegations of involvement of the army have not altogether disappeared, and several more books making similar accusations have appeared (Aboud 2002; Samraoui 2003). The political significance of the accusations, the continued appetite for books of this type, and the scarcity of information on Algeria create ideal conditions for this type of information to circulate. The history of these events will no doubt continue to be written and re-written for years, if not decades, to come.
These allegations are significant since they automatically implicate senior members of the Algerian regime in human rights abuses. They have therefore always been dismissed by the regime as groundless and politically motivated, but they have found favour with a significant proportion of the population. The former minister of defence, Khaled Nezzar, was forced to flee France in 2001 to avoid a prosecution for crimes against humanity brought against him by Algerian exiles. In a later high-profile case, Nezzar sued Habib Souadia, a former officer in the Algerian army, for repeating such accusations, but a Paris court significantly found that there was not sufficient evidence to reach a decision. Ironically the restrictions placed on information by the Algerian government are largely to blame for the vacuum of information in which such theories thrive (Silverstein 2000). In addition to the limited availability of information, the task of determining the role of the armed forces in the current conflict is made even more difficult by the fact that members of the armed groups frequently carry out attacks on the civilian population in military uniforms (such as the notorious false roadblocks), and members of the special forces may engage with the armed groups dressed as civilians or with the support of the civilian militias, the 'patriots'.
A number of organisations, such as Amnesty International, have consistently called for an international enquiry into the allegations of high-level involvement in human rights abuses. The Algerian government has always rejected such claims as international interference in its internal affairs, and the majority of political parties, including opposition parties, support the government position. A number of commentators highlight the fact that any changes imposed from outside Algeria would be unlikely to lead to a sustainable solution to the conflict, and genuine reform can only emerge from within. In addition to this, the widespread opposition to international involvement in the crisis would mean that any enquiry would not find sufficient co-operation to be useful anyway, even if there were more long-term possibility for it to be effective.
All reports on internal displacement in Algeria highlight the difficulty of making any estimate of the numbers of people affected, due to inadequate information. The most widely quoted figure is that of the US Committee for Refugees, which refers to between 100,000 and 200,000 internally displaced (USCR 2002). The Global IDP Project monitors reports of displacement from various sources, including the Algerian press, and their data supports USCR's figure, though they provide more detailed geographical information. The most significant cause of displacement is violent attacks, or threat or fear of violence. This was particularly severe during the terrible massacres of 1997 and 1998. Since 2000, direct attacks have become less widespread, though reports have increased of armed groups destroying crops in rural areas and forcing the population to leave (Global IDP Project 2003). A series of natural disasters have also provoked significant population movement.
Although human rights reports highlight that no area of the country can be considered completely free from the danger of attack from armed groups (Amnesty International 2003b), attacks have affected certain areas disproportionately. The Mitidja plain, between Algiers and the mountains to the south, has been particularly seriously affected. This area, corresponding roughly to the wilayat of Bejaia and Médéa, is sometimes referred to as the 'triangle of death' (Dammers 1998) due to the concentration of massacres and violent attacks that have occurred there. Some commentators have referred to an 'exodus' from the Mitidja plain (Stora 2001), and a report cited by the Global IDP Project refers to 5,000 villages which have been deserted in the wilayat of Bejaia and Médéa alone.
Overall, the trend of movement has been from vulnerable rural areas, such as the Mitidja, to the towns. It is unusual for individuals to migrate internationally directly from more remote rural areas, and the move to the towns facilitates contacts that may lead to international migration. The growth of the urban population also places further strains on already scarce housing stock, and internally displaced people may have to cope with extremely precarious living conditions which may, in turn, make them more vulnerable to natural disasters.
- Norwegian Refugee Council/Global IDP Project: Profile of Internal Displacement, Algeria http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wCountries/Algeria
Disturbances in Kabylia
The Kabyle population is the largest and most vocal of the four main Amazigh minority groups in Algeria. Kabyles have a long history of migration. They are over-represented amongst the emigrant population, and have historically been very significant in the political life of Algeria (Roberts 1982; 2003). Despite significant migration, the greatest number of Kabyles remain in their region of origin, Kabylia, a largely mountainous area east and south-east of the capital that does not correspond to any current administrative divisions. Kabylia has always been one of the poorest areas of the country, and today the population suffer from high levels of unemployment (approaching 90 per cent locally amongst people aged under 25), extremely high population densities in what remains a predominantly rural area, and minimal inward investment. Kabyles have a long tradition of political activism, and the Amazight movement, both in Algeria and internationally, is dominated by Kabyles, sometimes to the irritation of the smaller groups of non-Kabyles.
The current disturbances in Kabylia date from the twenty-first anniversary of the 'Berber Spring' (see The current conflict). In April 2001, shortly before the annual commemoration of the events of 1980, a 19-year-old student was killed by the gendarmerie. This triggered widespread rioting across the region. The gendarmes responded with excessive violence, including the use of live ammunition. The excessive response of the gendarmerie provoked continued violence and huge protests, such as the march on 21 May in Tizi Ouzou, which attracted a million people: the largest demonstration in Algerian history. Since the 'Black Spring' the situation in Kabylia has never been fully calmed. In total, over 100 people have been killed and many more injured (ICG 2003).
Initially there was some confusion over how the disturbances should be interpreted. A number of politicians, particularly the RCD, claimed that they derived exclusively from cultural demands of the Kabyle population; however, it soon became clear that these were not central to the concerns of the protestors in Kabylia. Both the FFS and the RCD attempted to channel the protests themselves, but neither was particularly successful, and a defining feature of the protests has been the rejection of the established political process. A collective of local people was rapidly formed, known by the name of the traditional village-level political structures of Kabylia: the 'Archs', or alternatively, simply the 'citizen's movement'. Although the initial demands that were expressed included recognition of cultural claims of the Kabyles, including the official recognition of the Tamazight language, the socio-economic situation and the general lack of concern expressed by politicians about the growing suffering of people in the region was equally significant. In this sense Kabylia represents a more severe example of conditions than can be found elsewhere around the country.
Both of these elements appear in the list of demands of the Archs, the El Kseur Platform. The government has made some progress addressing the culturally based demands and has recognised Tamazight as a national language, though not yet an official language (which would allow court proceedings to be conducted in Tamazight, for example). However, the government faces similar barriers to the implementation of the more general socio-economic demands as elsewhere in the country. Very little progress has been made in this direction, and this is commonly interpreted as a further indication of the government's lack of concern for these matters. The Collective of Archs has become increasingly intransigent in its demands, and according to a recent report of the International Crisis Group (ICG 2003) based on considerable research in the region, has gradually cut itself off from its popular bases of support, particularly through its occasionally violent attempts to prevent voting in the elections of May and October 2002. The government met with this group several times in 2003, but there still seems to be little prospect of reaching any agreement. Most recently, dialogue with the government has produced divisions in the group, and El Watan reported that the Collective of Archs has divided over this issue ( El Watan, 31 October 2003; 1 November 2003).
- International Crisis Group: 'Algeria: Unrest and impasse in Kabylia', 2003 http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/middleeast/egypt_northafrica/reports/A400996_10062003.pdf
- Algeria Watch: Chronology of events in Kabylia, April-August 2001 (in French) http://www.algeria-watch.de/farticle/revolte/chronologie.htm ; National Commission of Enquiry Report into events in Kabylia, July 2001 (in French) http://www.algeria-watch.de/farticle/revolte/issad_rapport.htm; National Commission of Enquiry Report into events in Kabylia, December 2001 (in French) http://www.algeria-watch.de/farticle/revolte/issad_complement.htm
- UK Amnesty: El Kseur Platform (some of the demands of this platform have now been met) http://www.amnesty-volunteer.org/uk/algeria/ElKseurPlatform.php
The legal framework
Algeria is party to all major international human rights treaties, including the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol, and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. It submits regular reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (see Civil society). Perhaps the most controversial piece of national legislation is the 1984 Family Code, which governs aspects of private law. A number of groups campaign for its abrogation, and although some modifications were made in 1998 and a national commission has been established to examine further changes, these are considered insufficient, as the entire text re-enforces gender inequality (FIDH 1999; Hadid 2003). It is seen as contrary to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which Algeria ratified in 1996.
- Full text of Family Code (in French) http://membres.lycos.fr/lexalgeria/droit%20de%20la%20famille.htm
- LexAlgeria home page - full text links to major public and private Algerian legislation http://membres.lycos.fr/lexalgeria/
- Full list of treaties and agreements signed or ratified by Algeria http://www.algeria-un.org/default.asp?doc=-treaty
- OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa http://www.achpr.org/OAU_Convention_on_Refugee_Rights.eng.pdf
In addition to the brutal conflict as outlined above, Algeria suffers from regular serious flooding and earthquakes. The most recent disaster was a 6.8-magnitude earthquake on 23 May 2003, centred on the town of Thenia, forty-five miles east of Algiers, which also seriously affected the capital. In total 2,268 people were killed, 10,147 were injured, and more than 200,000 were made homeless. The government was able to provide shelter for the majority of those displaced fairly quickly, and significant international aid arrived within hours. Initial predictions estimated the cost of the damage at US$5 billion. The Algerian Human Rights League (LADH) was sharply critical of the government for failing to assure the maintenance of building standards in this earthquake-prone region ( Quotidien d'Oran, 27 May 2003). Over the past decade, the region has been affected by earthquakes in 1994 and 1999, which both resulted in several hundred deaths; however, the last time that there was destruction on the scale of the 2003 earthquake was in 1980, when almost a million people were affected.
Floods have also caused extensive damage and loss of life. In November 2001, 921 people were killed and 50,000 made homeless by serious flooding in the poor Algiers neighbourhood of Bab El-Oued. This flood disproportionately affected people who had been displaced from the countryside by violent attacks over the previous few years, since they were often living in the most precarious or unsafe housing. Serious flooding also occurs regularly, and resulted in deaths in 1969, 1973, and 1984. The serious drought over the last decade exacerbates the floods by increasing runoff when rains do arrive. The drought itself is also thought to have contributed to internal displacement by forcing some people from land that could no longer support them. Though no figures are available, the drought will inevitably have played a role in the decision of those people who already felt vulnerable to violent attacks to move to urban areas.
- Reliefweb Algeria page http://wwww.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/ByCountry/Algeria?OpenDocument&StartKey=Algeria&Expandview
- Natural disaster profile: Algeria http://www.cred.be/emdat/profiles/natural/algeria.htm
No information is available on development-induced displacement. Significant development investment is most frequently associated with oil and gas, and so occurs in the oil fields in the south, far from any significant centres of population, though it is possible that other types of project do have some effect on the populated coastal zone.
Needs and responses
Algerians in exile
The current conflict has seen a marked diversification of the Algerian emigrant population, reducing the dominance of France as the principal destination country. Although France undoubtedly remains the most important foreign country for Algerians and continues to dominate cultural and political life in Algeria, large numbers of Algerians now live elsewhere. In fact, anecdotal evidence of Algerian populations all over the world is easy to encounter. Since 1990, Algerians have gone from being one of the most concentrated emigrant communities in the world to become far more widely dispersed. This diversification is due to both the nature of emigration over the past decade, and to the restrictive response of France, the most natural destination for Algerians.
Until the 1970s, most Algerian emigrants were working-class people in search of work. The huge majority went to France due to a combination of factors linked to the ex-colonial relationship. Emigration since the 1990s has been very different. Although only a minority of emigrants over the last decade have claimed political asylum, there can be little doubt that the generalised situation of violence in the country during that time has played a significant, if not dominant, role in any decision to leave. Many of those who have been targeted have been political leaders, intellectuals, journalists, academics, and other generally middle-class or professional people. Poorer sectors of society have certainly been affected, even singled out for individual persecution (hairdressers, for example, are specifically warned not to practise their profession in one GIA communiqué), but given the tight restrictions on reaching France, they have generally lacked the means of leaving the country. Over the last decade, emigration has therefore involved an educated, professional middle-class much more significantly than previous labour migration.
In 1990, 97 per cent of Algerians outside of Algeria were resident in France. There were over 600,000 Algerian nationals resident in France, and 200,000 more who were born in Algeria but had acquired French nationality. France imposed a visa requirement on Algerians in 1986, and in 1987 granted 571,993 visas to Algerians. By 1994, two years after the beginning of the conflict, this had fallen to just over 100,000. In August 1994, all French consulates in Algeria were closed, following a bomb attack, and Algerians had to apply directly to France. In 1996 only 40,000 visas were granted to Algerians, a fall of over 90 per cent over ten years. This figure has slowly risen since then, particularly since 2000, when the French embassy in Algiers reopened. Nevertheless, during the most difficult period of the conflict France clearly granted substantially fewer visas to Algerians than at other times.
The situation for Algerians requesting asylum in France was little better. From 1992 to 2002 17,172 Algerians requested asylum in France, though less than 500 were granted full refugee status (OFPRA, unpublished data). France also introduced a secondary form of protection called 'territorial asylum', which was designed specifically for Algerians. An estimated 12,000 Algerians have applied for territorial asylum since it was officially introduced in 1998, but a similarly tiny percentage has been recognised (exact figures are not available). It is clear that, despite introducing temporary exceptions to strict immigration legislation for Bosnians, Kurds, and Kosovans, successive French administrations from across the political spectrum have not been prepared to do the same for Algerians.
In the early 1990s, Germany received the overwhelming majority of refugees from the Algerian conflict. Applications in Germany peaked in 1993, when 11,262 Algerians requested asylum, almost 90 per cent of all the Algerians who requested asylum anywhere in that year. Germany received the majority of asylum applications in the EU from all nationalities at this time, but even by this standard the concentration of Algerian applications is surprising. A number of well-known FIS politicians were granted asylum in Germany in 1992, and Germany quickly acquired a reputation in Algeria for granting asylum to Islamists. This fact was often used by the Algerian government as evidence of an individual's involvement with terrorism. Like France, Germany did not recognise persecution from non-state agents, so people fleeing Algerian armed groups were rarely granted asylum, but unlike France, Germany was prepared to grant asylum to Islamist politicians who were fleeing the government but who were typically excluded from protection in France, simply on political grounds. France was very keen to prevent the arrival of individuals who may have been able to stir up radical political sentiments amongst the large Muslim population in France. From 1993 onwards, the number of Algerians claiming asylum in Germany fell off very steeply, with applications averaging barely more than 2,000 a year over the next ten years.
In 1992, no Algerians requested asylum in the UK, but from 1993 onwards this began to rise slowly. By 2002 a total of 11,085 Algerians had requested asylum in the UK, the third-highest total anywhere in the world after Germany and France. This is surprising, since the movement of Algerians to the UK cannot be explained by an existing community, as in France and, to a lesser extent, Germany; in 1991 the UK had an Algerian population of just over 3,000. Nor can it be explained by the generous application of the UK asylum policy, since, until 1998, Algerians had no more chance of receiving asylum in the UK than in France, and even when the recognition rate increased dramatically in 1998, this did not translate into more applications in the following years.
In contrast to France and Germany, the UK does recognise persecution by non-state agents and, though this is unlikely to have provided an attraction since it remains virtually unknown, Algerians are one of the groups particularly affected by this difference. The UK also granted asylum to several prominent Islamist leaders, and in the mid 1990s it gained a reputation, similar to Germany's, as a key centre for Islamist politics, and in some circles has been connected with terrorism. This is largely unwarranted, since the UK courts have demonstrated their willingness to use the exclusion clause, Article 1F of the 1951 Convention, to refuse asylum to individuals considered to be dangerous. A key case in the application of Article 1F involves an Algerian, 'T', who was a member of the GIA and who was refused asylum by the British House of Lords in 1996 on the grounds that he had taken part in a 'serious non-political crime'.
Movement to the UK is also a result of interest and ability in the English language, though it is not the case that most Algerians coming to the UK speak English (Collyer 2003a). Although there have traditionally been very few links between Algeria and the UK, since 1995 a number of significant business deals have been agreed between British and Algerian companies, most notably between Sonatrach and British Petroleum in December 1995 (Aïssaoui 2001); and official delegations of British companies make regular visits to Algeria, most recently in December 2003 ( Quotidien d'Oran, 8 December 2003).
- Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees in the UK: 'Refugee populations in the UK: Algerians', (Michael Collyer, 2003) http://www.icar.org.uk/pdf/ng003.pdf
- UK Amnesty: Algeria Newsletter http://www.amnesty-volunteer.org/uk/algeria/Newsletter.php
Rest of the European Union
Other EU countries have periodically received significant numbers of asylum seekers from Algeria over the past decade, though none approach the total numbers received in France, Germany, and the UK. Before the current conflict, small communities of Algerians existed in Belgium and the Netherlands, and both of these countries have received a total of around 5,000 asylum applications each from Algerians. Spain and Italy are both significant new destinations, although apart from 1998 and 1999 when Spain received over a thousand applications, they have both received only a hundred or so applications per year.
There has long been a sizeable Algerian population in Quebec, and Canada is the only country outside of Europe recorded as receiving a significant number of Algerian refugees, a total of 5,769 in the decade from 1992 to 2002. It is obviously far more difficult to return to Algeria from North America, and research suggests that Algerians who hope to return to Algeria prefer to seek refuge in Europe. More recently Algerians have reached the USA, although the number of asylum applications there is really not significant. It seems that Canada and especially the USA are more often destinations for the wealthy elite, who may even travel there initially for the purposes of education.
Rest of the world
There is anecdotal evidence of small Algerian communities in a wide range of countries. There appears to be a significant community in francophone West Africa, particularly Senegal. Eastern Europe is another destination confirmed by a number of reports. Unfortunately, no figures exist to judge the size of these groups, and they are likely to be very small. However, they do illustrate the urgency of departure for certain sectors of the Algerian population and the direct results of the increased stringency of immigration and asylum policy throughout the European Union.
Return to Algeria
Since France, Germany, and the UK do not gather statistical data on departures, it is very difficult to estimate the significance of voluntary return to Algeria. In common with most other migrant groups, it is rare to meet an Algerian emigrant who does not want, at some stage, to return to Algeria. In the period of optimism following Bouteflika's election, a growing number of Algerians who had spent some time abroad began to return, though anecdotal evidence suggests that this has levelled off a little once the slow pace of progress became clear. Of course, for shorter-term visits voluntary return is continually occurring; France now grants over 100,000 short visas a year to Algerians, the overwhelming majority of whom return within the thirty- or ninety-day period specified. Overall, however, it appears that Algeria remains a net country of emigration; the point has not been reached when more people are returning than are leaving, on a long-term basis.
Involuntary or forced return is a far more difficult question, and there are conflicting reports concerning the safety of deportees. Although most countries, including the UK and Germany, respected UNHCR's 1997 call for a moratorium on deportations to Algeria (UNHCR 1997), France did not, and during 1997 and 1998, the two worst years of the conflict, France deported 813 and 633 Algerians, respectively (Cimade 1999). Most European countries have started returning failed Algerian asylum seekers again, most recently the UK. A 2001 report by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada found that none of these countries had conducted a formal study of what happened to these individuals when they arrived in Algeria, but, based on research in Algeria, it went on to detail evidence that they were generally not mistreated. Other sources underline the importance of obtaining guarantees from the Algerian authorities, since it remains likely that asylum seekers who have fallen into one of the exclusion clauses will be poorly treated or tortured if they are returned to Algeria (Burgat 2001).
Refugees in Algeria
When asked about Algerian refugees living elsewhere in the world, members of the Algerian government often highlight the number of refugees living in Algeria. Estimates of the precise number of refugees in Algeria vary widely, but there is little doubt that it exceeds the number of Algerians who have officially requested asylum in Europe and North America, even if not the total number of Algerians who have left the country over the last decade. The huge majority of refugees in Algeria are Saharawis, who have been living in camps near the town of Tindouf in the south-west of Algeria since the mid 1970s. Although the Algerian government has been comparatively generous to the Saharawis, their situation is still far from ideal, and other refugee groups who have arrived more recently from sub-Saharan African are generally not well treated.
There is remarkable disagreement over the precise number of Saharawi refugees in Algeria. They all live in camps in the area of Tindouf, extremely isolated in the far south-west of the country, near the Moroccan border. The Algerian government consistently cites a figure of 165,000 Saharawis in the camps, and UNHCR also uses this figure. The Moroccan government, on the other hand, argues that this figure is inflated for political reasons, and has come up with a (doubtless equally political) figure of 20,000 to 30,000. The US Committee for Refugees visited the camps in 2000 and, although they were unable to carry out anything like an ordered count, they refer to 80,000 Saharawis. Amnesty International also use a figure midway between the Moroccan and Algerian governments: 100,000. For a population that is so clearly demarcated by their isolation in an otherwise virtually deserted corner of Algeria, this range of estimates is surprising, but gives some indication of the political significance of the Saharwi refugees in Algeria for relations between Algeria and Morocco as well as for the future of the Western Sahara. The UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has pre-registered 129,863 refugees from the camps for the purposes of voting, so it seems likely that the true figure is closer to the upper end of these estimates.
There are four main areas of settlement for Saharwis south of the town of Tindouf. These areas are a considerable distance apart, and each contains a number of separate camps. The camps are all administered by the Polisario Front ( Frente Popular para la Liberación de Saguia El-Hamra y Rio de Oro) and effectively form a mini-state as part of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, which also covers the areas of the Western Sahara that are not occupied by Morocco. The Algerian government is totally open about the control of the Polisario over this area of Algeria, a unique situation in global refugee assistance. The camps date from 1975, when indigenous groups fled from Moroccan and Mauritanian forces entering the Western Sahara as Spanish colonial forces withdrew. The Polisario reached agreement with Mauritania in 1979, but the dispute with Morocco over the sovereignty of the Western Sahara has continued to sour relations between Morocco and Algeria.
Algeria has had observer status in the continuing UN-sponsored negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front, and the tremendous influence that Algeria is able to exert over the Polisario has given it a key role in these negotiations. Since 1999 MINURSO has attempted to negotiate an agreement to identify those people who would be eligible to vote in a referendum to determine the future of the disputed territory. The most recent plan, published in May 2003, abandoned the idea of a referendum entirely after repeated failure to reach agreement on the issue of voter eligibility. Instead it put forward the idea of an initial period of autonomy for the Western Sahara within Morocco. This was rejected by Morocco, the Polisario, and Algeria, but, following what most Algerian newspapers considered to be extensive US pressure on Algeria (Ouazani 2003), Algeria and the Polisario accepted this plan. It was officially passed by the UN Security Council on 31 July 2003 (Resolution 1495), though Morocco remains firmly opposed. The technique of using Algeria as an intermediary in this manner is likely to remain important given the renewed importance of relations with the USA for the current Algerian administration.
Local integration is not an option for the Saharawi refugees, since conditions locally do not allow them to be self-sufficient and they are likely to remain dependent on international assistance until other solutions can be found. UNHCR reports that the vast majority of people in the camps are women, children, and elderly people (UNHCR 2003). Though disease, malnutrition, and access to water are vastly improved since the dramatic situation in the 1970s, life in the camps remains extremely harsh, and concerns have recently been expressed about the quality of water and supplies of food ( BBC News, 29 August 2002). Amnesty International has raised concerns about the freedom of movement of Saharawis within Algeria. They are certainly constrained by resources, since the camps operate a virtually money-free society; and, given the employment situation in the rest of Algeria, it is virtually impossible for them to find work elsewhere. However, there are also reports of restrictions imposed on their movement by both the Algerian authorities and the Polisario leaders, who are obviously keen that as many people as possible remain in the camps (Amnesty International 2003c).
- US Committee for Refugees: Algeria country report http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/africa/2003/algeria.cfm
- Western Sahara Online http://www.wsahara.net/
- Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic http://www.arso.org/03-0.htm
- CIA Factbook: Western Sahara http://www.cia.gov/cia/publication/factbook/geos/wi.html
- Algerian ministry of foreign affairs: chronology of Western Sahara http://www.mae.dz/index.asp?rub=2&ntitre=218
- UN Security Council Resolution 1495 http://ods-dds-ny.org/doc.UNDOC/GEN/N03/447/80/PDF/N0344780.pdf
Other refugee groups
In addition to the Saharawis, there are an estimated 4,000 Palestinian refugees living in Algeria. Because of their tiny number, they do not face the same barriers to integrating into mainstream society as they do in the Middle East. Over the last few years, Algeria has also become a significant transit country for refugees from further south attempting to reach Europe. The difficulties of crossing the Sahara are highlighted by occasional reports of the death of groups of refugees in the Sahara from hunger or thirst. UNHCR is the asylum-granting authority in Algeria, and all refugees recognised by UNHCR are also recognised by the Algerian government. Despite the prolonged insecurity in the country, about a hundred refugees per year have been claiming asylum to UNHCR Algeria in recent years. In 2000, 90 per cent were recognised (UNHCR 2001). It seems likely that this represents only a tiny fraction of the potential numbers of refugees, since, due to the conflict, UNHCR has only a tiny presence outside of the Tindouf camps and works mainly through local partners. The inclusion of non-Algerian nationals in the recent EU readmission agreement with Algeria also indicates that Algeria is considered to be a significant transit country for migrants to the EU. Reports from Algerian NGOs suggest some concern that individuals wishing to claim asylum are treated as illegal immigrants and deported. UNHCR's Country Operations Plan for Algeria for 2003 prioritises the effective application of the 1951 Convention and the establishment of national refugee legislation (UNHCR 2003).
Though much of the violence in Algeria has been indeterminate, a wide range of groups has been especially affected by the ongoing conflict. This section provides brief details of those most affected, but should not be taken as a definitive list, particularly since the situation is constantly changing.
Women have been targeted throughout the conflict by armed groups. Women with a more western lifestyle, or exercising professions of responsibility, such as school teachers, have been particularly targeted for individual attacks (USCR 1999). Attacks on women, especially rape, have also been used by armed groups as a weapon to terrorise entire populations (Lalami-Fates 1995). Although armed groups have been the most severe perpetrators of violence against women, government forces have dealt very severely with any women they consider associated with armed groups. Mobilisations in defence of the 'disappeared' typically involve female relatives, and there have been many reports of demonstrations being violently broken up. This tendency was increasing at the end of 2003. Algeria signed and ratified the UN Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1996. The Family Code was widely considered to be in breach of this convention (FIDH 1999). In November 2003, President Bouteflika announced a new national commission to 're-examine' the Family Code, but a number of observers have interpreted this move in the light of presidential elections in 2004 rather than any serious intention of reform (Hadid 2003).
- Rassemblement Algerien Contre la Hogra et pour les Droits des Algeriennes (RACHDA) (in French, Spanish, and Italian) http://www.nodo50.org/mujeresred/RACHDA.html
- Algerian government's report to UNDAW 1999 http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw20/algeria.htm
- Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), alternative report to the Algerian government's above, 1999 (in French) http://www.fidh.imaginet.fr/rapports/r273.htm
From 1993 onwards, the GIA began a policy of targeting journalists, academics, artists, writers, and any other prominent intellectual figure who criticised them in any way. The International Committee of Support for Algerian Intellectuals (CISIA) was set up in Paris to provide support to people targeted in this way. By the end of the 1990s, the CISIA offered a more general support role to Algerian refugees. A whole range of smaller-scale, locally based solidarity organisations have also developed, mainly in France, over the last decade (Lloyd 1999a; 1999b). Many of these, such as the association ' Acceuil et Soutien des Exilés Algériens', founded in Marseille, have been set up, often by recently arrived Algerians, to offer assistance to newly arrived refugees. Many Algerians who have left Algeria during the conflict describe themselves as 'exiles', a term that effectively captures their feelings of distance from Algeria and simultaneous alienation from the long-established community of Algerians, particularly in France. There are also solidarity organisations that campaign and collect financial or material support directly for those in Algeria (such as Solimed, in Paris); cultural associations (such as Planet DZ); and political campaigning groups focused on Algeria (such as Verité et Justice pour l'Algérie, founded by Nesroullah Yous). Many of these groups have been founded by 'intellectuals' recently arrived from Algeria who have brought a new dynamism and urgency to Algerian-focused associations in France, and have spread concerns across Europe and further afield.
Imazighen have always been an economically deprived minority in Algeria. Although they have not suffered a systematic pattern of social disadvantage and have occupied many top government positions, the way in which their socio-economic and cultural grievances have been treated by the Algerian regime provoked the rioting of spring 2001. Since then, Kabyles in particular have received ill-treatment at the hands of security forces and police.
Members and family of security forces and police
The security forces and police have been amongst the first victims of the armed groups from the beginning of the conflict. Even comparatively moderate groups such as the AIS focused their fighting on agents of the state, and more extreme groups (GIA, GSPC) deliberately targeted their families as well.
In Algeria homosexuality is punishable by a prison term of up to two years and a fine. Homosexuals may suffer harassment from security forces or society in general (Amnesty International 2003b). UNHCR has recognised that homosexuals who suffer ill-treatment and whose government is unwilling to offer protection should receive refugee status as members of a particular social group (UNHCR 2002).
Members and suspected members of armed groups and their families
Torture and ill-treatment remain widespread for those who are, or are suspected of being, involved with armed groups. Both Amnesty International and UNHCR have advised against the return of individuals linked to these groups (Amnesty International 2003b; UNHCR 1997).
The situation for civil society groups in Algeria has been slowly improving, though there are still severe restrictions in certain areas. As noted above, organisations working for the resolution of the situation of 'disappeared' people have had great difficulty receiving official recognition. Recent legislation has introduced severe penalties for defamation of the president, the army, or other public figures. Human rights organisations that have attempted to follow up reports from victims of human rights abuses have run into problems with this law. The president of the Relizane branch of the Algerian League for The Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) was recently sentenced to two years in prison for reporting statements of families of disappeared in the region who stated that they had seen the mayor and members of the state-armed militia arrest the men before they disappeared (Human Rights Watch 2003; LADDH 2003). Another member of LADDH has been released after serving two months, but the LADDH expressed concern that this would provoke self-censorship of human rights organisations (LADDH 2003). Amnesty International has raised concerns that labour unions other than the official General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) require authorisation from the Ministry of Labour (Amnesty International 2003b).
A number of explicitly opposition organisations are based overseas. These organisations are directly critical of the government or the army, and would not be permitted to operate from within the country. They typically publish information over the Internet in an attempt to embarrass or incriminate key officials or organise individuals, most frequently in France, to campaign against the Algerian regime (Silverstein 2001; Collyer 2003b). A group of dissident army officers based mainly in Madrid, called the Algerian Free Officers Movement (MAOL), is one of the most well known of these organisations. Algerian authorities link the organisation to extremist Islamist groups, but the MAOL deny this. Their material ranges in quality from the incisive to the apparently fabricated, but is nonetheless influential in Algeria. Their site has generated almost 2 million hits. A whole range of similarly politically focused NGOs operate overseas, particularly in France, in an attempt to galvanise public opinion against the Algerian regime, though most are too small to operate their own web site.
Algerian expatriate groups also focus on less explicitly political issues such as solidarity campaigns or cultural events. The Paris-based cultural organisation 'Planet DZ' is an excellent example of an initiative of recent Algerian emigrants that has had a widespread positive effect on the Algerian community and on the Paris cultural scene more generally. There are literally hundreds of small cultural organisations, again, particularly concentrated in France. The May 2003 earthquake provoked a tremendous display of solidarity from the Algerian community around the world, and small organisations sprang up to gather money or materials to send to the affected areas.
Though in recent years the USA and the European Union, amongst other international actors, have played a growing role in Algeria, French influence remains primordial. Colonialism obviously resulted in close cultural, historical, and linguistic ties; if anything, this influence has intensified in recent years. Despite the network of personal ties between France and Algeria, at an official level Franco-Algerian relations were distinctly cool for a number of years after independence, certainly during the years of Boumedienne's presidency. After the cancellation of the elections in 1992, despite some minor huffing and puffing about the democratic process, the French government, and the EU generally, made it clear that they were thankful to have avoided the creation of a potentially hostile radical Islamist government in a neighbouring state. As they saw it, an Islamist victory would have meant significant migration to Europe, particularly France. In 1993, when defeat for the Algerian regime appeared conceivable, the French government began a massive programme of mostly military aid. Franco-Algerian relations have continued to warm, although since the attacks in France in 1995 the French government has been less publicly supportive of the Algerian regime (see The current conflict). In 2000 Bouteflika visited France, the first-ever official visit to France by an Algerian president, and in 2001 Chirac visited Algeria, only the second French president to have done so in an official capacity.
This renewed enthusiasm in France for the Franco-Algerian relationship has been partly explained as a desire to preserve the privileged status of France in Algeria in the face of the growing US influence. Bouteflika has made several visits to the USA during his presidency, and in 2001 and 2002 the US navy carried out joint training operations with Algerian armed forces. Finally, in December 2002 the announcement of a significant arms deal between the USA and Algeria, the first ever, was considered as a major public relations victory for the Algerian regime, overcoming previous international disapproval of its harsh counter-terrorism strategy (Quandt 2002).
The involvement of the European Union in Algeria has evolved considerably during the conflict. Initially it was clear that France was taking a lead in the EU's response, but recently there is more evidence that the EU is acting independently (Morisse-Schilbach 1999). In 1992 the various EU institutions made relatively wide-ranging general criticism of the way in which the elections had been cancelled. There was evidence in 1994 and 1995 that the EU was prepared to use its relatively modest aid to Algeria to attempt to influence the government's behaviour, though this proved relatively ineffective. Following the massacres of 1997, the EU took a more direct role. In January 1998 a troika from the Council, consisting of ministerial-level representatives of the UK, Luxembourg, and Austria, visited Algeria and issued a report in June. A delegation from the European Parliament also visited and issued a similar, though slightly more critical, report a few weeks later.
Algeria is a signatory to the Euro-Mediterranean agreement, signed at 1995 in Barcelona, which commits it to broadly defined goals of respect for human rights. In 2002 the EU and Algeria ratified the Association Agreement by which this process is implemented. The main focus of this agreement is the construction of a Mediterranean free-trade area, but it sets up a framework for further discussion of human rights and migration initiatives (European Commission 2002). Amnesty International was particularly critical of the vague way in which human rights is referred to in this agreement, and has argued that more specific targets would have more effect than vague principles of respect (Amnesty International 2002). The effects of this agreement on EU-Algerian relations remain to be seen. In 2003 the EU also completed negotiations for a re-admission agreement with Algeria, which will oblige Algeria to repatriate Algerians or third-country nationals who can be 'validly assumed' to have entered EU territory from Algeria. This agreement will take precedence over any bilateral agreements that Member States have negotiated.
The United Nations has had rather less influence on Algeria than the EU. Algeria has regularly completed its reports to the UN Human Rights Commissioner. In February 1998, soon after the two European delegations visited Algeria, a specially appointed panel of eminent persons from the UN also visited, issuing a highly uncritical report a few months later. Since 2000 the UN working group on enforced disappearances has been waiting for a reply to its request to visit Algeria. Both the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, and the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, are also awaiting replies to long-standing requests to visit Algeria. The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief visited in September 2002. The report praised the Algerian authorities for fully co-operating with the visit, but highlights concerns about the use of religion as a political tool by certain groups (UN Economic and Social Council 2003). Algeria has now submitted two reports to the UN Economic and Social Council since its ratification of the Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. The response to the report of 2001 raised a number of positive points, such as Algeria's accession to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, in 1996, but also raised a wide range of concerns.
Algeria has always been a significant member of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, and retains good relations with other African states. Morocco is perhaps the only exception, though Morocco has not been an OAU member due to the OAU position on the Western Sahara. Algeria and Morocco have a long-running border dispute, and the border is frequently closed. In the most recent episode, Morocco closed the border in 1994 following a gun attack on tourists in Marrakech that was blamed on Algerian extremists. Diplomatic links do exist, and though they are certainly frosty, Bouteflika attended the funeral of Hassan II in 1999, and there are regular ministerial meetings.
- Algerian ministry of foreign affairs http://www.mae.dz
- French ministry of foreign affairs: relations with Algeria http://diplomatie.gouv.fr/actu/actu.asp?DOS=12473
- EU External Relations: Barcelona Declaration http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/euromed/bd.htm; Algeria http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/algeria/intro/index.htm
- Commission Mandate to Negotiate Readmission Agreement with Algeria http://www.statewatch.org/news/2003/may12falgeriamdte.html
- UN report of eminent panel, 1998 http://www.un.org/NewLinks/dpi2007/index.html
- UN report of Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, 2002 http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/AllSymbols/8EFF226E6CB5860AC1256CF000345E5B/$File/G0310111.pdf?OpenElement
- UN Human Rights Committee: conclusions on Algeria's 1998 submission http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CCPR.C.79.Add.95.En?Opendocument
- Algerian embassy in USA http://www.algeria-us.org
- Permanent mission of Algeria to the UN http://www.algeria-un.org
El Khabar (Arabic daily) http://www.elkhabar.com/
El Youm (Arabic daily) http://www.el-youm.com/
Ech Chaab (Arabic daily) http://www.ech-chaab.com/
El Moudjahid (French daily) http://www.elmoudjahid.com/
La Tribune (French daily) http://www.latribune-online.com/
Le Matin (French daily) http://www.lematin-dz.net/accueil/
Le Soir d'Algérie (French daily) http://www.lesoirdalgerie.com
Liberté (French daily) http://www.liberte-algerie.com/
Le Quotidien d'Oran (French daily) http://www.quotidien-oran.com/
Other electronic resources
Algérie Presse Service national information service (in English, French, and Arabic) http://www.aps.dz
UNHCR REFWORLD: Algeria Country of Origin Information 2001 http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rsd/+NwwBmePYm3_wwwwnwwwwwwwxFqwqFqwmFqwnFqwhzmeG-wwwwwwwtFqrEctnGowrFqwoFqwzFqwAFqqejhrmFmmDFqm7y-dFqt2IygZf3zmmwwwwwww/rsddocview.pdf
Norwegian Council for Africa: Algeria page http://www.afrika.no/index/Countries/Algeria/index.html
Cornell University Algeria bibliography, 'Algeria: A Bibliography of Events Since 1991', 2003 http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/algeria.htm
International Crisis Group: Algeria http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/project.cfm?subtypeid=2
Reporters Without Borders: Annual report, Algeria 2003 - http://www.rsf.org/country-43.php3?id_mot=142&Valider=OK
Algeria Watch International http://www.pmwatch.org/awi/
Centre de Recherche sur l'Information Scientifique et Technique: Algiers http://www.cerist.dz/Index.htm
University of Texas Middle East Network Information Centre http://menic.utexas.edu/menic/Countries_and_Regions/Algeria/
Algeria.com (well-maintained community site) http://www.algeria.com/
ENTV (Algerian TV station site: access to news and programmes) http://www.entv.dz/
Non-electronic resources and bibliography
- Aboud, H.,La Mafia des Généraux.
La Mafia des Généraux.Paris: Lattes, 2002.
- Addi, L.,'La Guerre continue en Algérie'.
'La Guerre continue en Algérie'.Le Monde Diplomatique, April 2001.
- Amnesty International,When token gestures are not enough: human rights and the Algeria-EU accord,
When token gestures are not enough: human rights and the Algeria-EU accord,MDE 28/007/2002, 2002.
- --,Amnesty international concludes visit: promise of change but human rights issues remain unresolved,
Amnesty international concludes visit: promise of change but human rights issues remain unresolved,MDE 28/004/2003, 2003a.
- --,Asylum seekers fleeing a continuing human rights crisis,
Asylum seekers fleeing a continuing human rights crisis,MDE 28/007/2003, 2003b.
- --,Country Report: Morocco/Western Sahara,
Country Report: Morocco/Western Sahara,POL 10/003/2003, 2003c.
- Aïssaoui, A.,Algeria: The political economy of oil and gas.
Algeria: The political economy of oil and gas.Oxford: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford University Press, 2001.
- Bon, C.,Le Roman algérien de langue française.
Le Roman algérien de langue française.Paris: L'Harmattan, 1985.
- Cimade (Défense des Etrangers Reconduits),Arenc: Observatoire des Reconduites à la Frontière Rapport 1998.
Arenc: Observatoire des Reconduites à la Frontière Rapport 1998.Marseille: Cimade, 1999.
- Collyer, M.,'Explaining change in established migration systems: the movement of Algerians to France and the UK'.
'Explaining change in established migration systems: the movement of Algerians to France and the UK'.Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Working Paper 16, available at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/migration/publications/working_papers/, 2003a
- --,'Are there national borders in cyberspace? Evidence from the Algerian transnational community'.
'Are there national borders in cyberspace? Evidence from the Algerian transnational community'.Geography, October, 2003b.
- Dammers, C., 'Algeria', in J. Hampton (ed.),Internally Displaced Persons.
Internally Displaced Persons.London: Earthscan, 1998.
- Entelis, J. P.,'Algeria in turmoil: Islam, democracy and the state'.
'Algeria in turmoil: Islam, democracy and the state'.Middle East Policy 1, no. 2:23-35, 1992.
- European Commission,'The Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the European Union and Algeria'.
'The Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the European Union and Algeria'.Euromed., Special Feature Issue no. 27A, 2002.
- Esprit,'La politique francaise de coopération vis-à-vis de l'Algérie: un quiproquo tragique'.
'La politique francaise de coopération vis-à-vis de l'Algérie: un quiproquo tragique'.Esprit, January:153-161, 1995.
- Euzière, P.,'Aux racines de l'islamisme Algerien'.
'Aux racines de l'islamisme Algerien'.Recherches Internationales, 56-57(2-3):224-230, 1999.
- Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH),Rapport Alternatif de la FIDH au Rapport Initial Présenté par l'Algérie au Comité sur l'Elimination de la Discrimination a l'Egard des Femmes.
Rapport Alternatif de la FIDH au Rapport Initial Présenté par l'Algérie au Comité sur l'Elimination de la Discrimination a l'Egard des Femmes.Paris: FIDH, 1999.
- Ghezali, S.,Le Rêve Algérien.
Le Rêve Algérien.Algiers: La Nation, 1999.
- Ghiles, F.,'L'armée a-t-elle une politique économique: chronique de douze années de compromis incertains'.
'L'armée a-t-elle une politique économique: chronique de douze années de compromis incertains'.Pouvoirs 86:85-106, 1998.
- GISTI,Les droits des Algériens en France, Les cahiers juridiques.
Les droits des Algériens en France, Les cahiers juridiques.Paris: GISTI, 1999.
- Global IDP Project,Profile of Internal Displacement: Algeria.
Profile of Internal Displacement: Algeria.Norwegian Refugee Council, 2003.
- Hadid, S.,'Vers une revision du Code de la Famille?'
'Vers une revision du Code de la Famille?'Jeune Afrique l'Intelligient, November:24, 2003.
- Horne, A.,A bloody war of peace: Algeria 1954-62.
A bloody war of peace: Algeria 1954-62.London: Macmillan, 1996.
- International Crisis Group (ICG),Algeria's Economy: The Vicious Circle of Oil and Violence.
Algeria's Economy: The Vicious Circle of Oil and Violence.Cairo: ICG London, 2001.
- --,Algeria: Unrest and impasse in Kabylia.
Algeria: Unrest and impasse in Kabylia.Cairo: ICG London, 2003.
- Kauffer, R.,OAS: Histoire d'une guerre franco-française.
OAS: Histoire d'une guerre franco-française.Paris: Seuil, 2002.
- Khandriche, M., Benneceur, A., and Kouidri, M.,Le Nouvel espace migratoire franco-algérien: des données et des hommes.
Le Nouvel espace migratoire franco-algérien: des données et des hommes.Aix-en-Provence: Edisud, 1999.
- Khelassi, N.,'La Violence'.
'La Violence'.Pouvoirs, 86 :107-116, 1998.
- Lalami-Fates, F.,'Les Associations de femmes algériennes face à la menace islamiste'.
'Les Associations de femmes algériennes face à la menace islamiste'.prit, January :126- 129, 1995.
- Leveau, R.,'Le paradoxe de l'absence d'exiles politiques maghrébins en France'.
'Le paradoxe de l'absence d'exiles politiques maghrébins en France'.Paper presented at Les réfugies en France et en Europe 40 ans de la convention de Geneve 1952-1992. Paris: OFPRA, 1992.
- Ligue Algérien pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (LADDH),Press release,
Press release,24 November 2003, available on Algeria Watch.
- Lloyd, C.,'Organising Across Borders: Algerian Women's Associations in a Period of Conflict'.
'Organising Across Borders: Algerian Women's Associations in a Period of Conflict'.Review of African Political Economy, 82:479-490, 1999a.
- --,'Transnational mobilisations in contexts of violent conflict: the case of solidarity with women in Algeria'.
'Transnational mobilisations in contexts of violent conflict: the case of solidarity with women in Algeria'.Contemporary politics, 5(4):365-377, 1999b.
- --,'Multicausal conflict in Algeria: national identity, inequality and political Islam'.
'Multicausal conflict in Algeria: national identity, inequality and political Islam'.Working Paper no. 104, Oxford: QEH, University of Oxford, 2003.
- Martinez, L.,La guerre civile en Algérie. Paris: Karthala, 1998.
La guerre civile en Algérie. Paris: Karthala, 1998.
- Morisse-Schilbach, M.,L'Europe et la question algérienne.
L'Europe et la question algérienne.Paris: Presse Universitaire Francaise, 1999.
- Ouazani, C.,'Bisbilles diplomatiques'.
'Bisbilles diplomatiques'.Jeune Afrique l'Intelligient, 2,219:37, 2003.
- Organisation Nationale de Statistique (ONS),Presentation Statistique de l'Algérie 2000.
Presentation Statistique de l'Algérie 2000.Algiers: ONS, 2000.
- Quandt, W. B.,'Flirt contrarié entre Washington et Alger'.
'Flirt contrarié entre Washington et Alger'.Monde diplomatique July:14-15, 2002.
- Roberts, H.,'The Unforseen Development of the Kabyle Question in Contemporary Algeria'.
'The Unforseen Development of the Kabyle Question in Contemporary Algeria'.Government and Opposition 17(3):312-334, 1982.
- --,The Battlefield Algeria: Studies in a broken polity.
The Battlefield Algeria: Studies in a broken polity.London: Verso, 2003.
- Samraoui, M.,Chronique des Années de Sang.
Chronique des Années de Sang.Paris: Denoël, 2003.
- Schade-Poulsen, M.,Men and Popular Music in Algeria.
Men and Popular Music in Algeria.Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999.
- Sifaoui, M.,La Sale Guerre. Histoire d'une imposture.
La Sale Guerre. Histoire d'une imposture.Algiers: Chihab Editions, 2002.
- Silverstein, P.,'Regimes of (un)truth: Conspiracy theory and the transnationalization of the Algerian civil war'.
'Regimes of (un)truth: Conspiracy theory and the transnationalization of the Algerian civil war'.Middle East Report, 214 :6-10, 2000.
- Souaidia, H.,La Sale Guerre.
La Sale Guerre.Paris: La Découverte, 2001.
- Stora, B.,Histoire de l'Algérie Coloniale 1830- 1954.
Histoire de l'Algérie Coloniale 1830- 1954.Paris: La Decouverte, 1991.
- --,Ils Venaient d'Algérie: l'émigration algérienne en France 1912-1992.
Ils Venaient d'Algérie: l'émigration algérienne en France 1912-1992.Paris: Fayard, 1992.
- --,La Guerre Invisible: Algérie, années 90.
La Guerre Invisible: Algérie, années 90.Paris: Press de Science Po, 2001.
- UN Economic and Social Council,'Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Religious Intolerance: Visit to Algeria 16-26 September 2002'.
'Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Religious Intolerance: Visit to Algeria 16-26 September 2002'.E/CN.4/2003/66/Add.1, 2003.
- UNHCR,UNHCR warns against deportation of Algerian asylum-seekers.
UNHCR warns against deportation of Algerian asylum-seekers.Press release, 18 September 1997.
- --,Country Report: Algeria, 2000.
Country Report: Algeria, 2000.2001.
- --,Protecting Refugees: questions and answers.
Protecting Refugees: questions and answers.2002
- --,Country Operations Plan: Algeria.
Country Operations Plan: Algeria.2003
- US Committee for Refugees (USCR),Country Report: Algeria, 1998.
Country Report: Algeria, 1998.1999.
- --,Country Report Algeria, 2001.
Country Report Algeria, 2001.2002.
- US Department of State,Country Report: Algeria, 2000.
Country Report: Algeria, 2000.2001.
- --,Country Report: Algeria, 2002.
Country Report: Algeria, 2002.2003.
- Vopli, F.,Islam and Democracy: The Failure of Dialogue in Algeria.
Islam and Democracy: The Failure of Dialogue in Algeria.London: Pluto Press, 2003.
- Willis, M.,The Islamist Challenge in Algeria: A Political History.
The Islamist Challenge in Algeria: A Political History.Reading: Ithaca, 1996.
- Yous, N.,Qui a tué à Bentalha? Chronique d'un massacre annoncé.
Qui a tué à Bentalha? Chronique d'un massacre annoncé.Paris: La Decouverte, 2000.
13.1.00 Algérie: les résultats de la loi sur la 'concord civile' sont difficiles à mesurer
11.4.00 Algérie: l'an I de l'ère Bouteflika
6.2.03 L'année de Quelle Algérie?
Le Quotidien d'Oran
27.5.03 'Complicité des structures et agents de l'Etat', selon la LADH
8.12.03 Les Britanniques prospectent à Alger
31.10.03/1.11.03 Archs-Scission a Tizi Ouzou