War of Algiers

WAR OF ALGIERS 3

The war of the Algiers was fought by the Algerian citizens againstthe French. The Algerian Muslims wanted their freedom back from theFrench who resisted hence leading to the war (Asprey, 1975).Movements such as the National Liberation Front were the champions ofthe freedom war which started on the 1st of November 1954.The Muslims in the country organized the Front de LibérationNational or the FLN as it is popularly known. The wars started whenthe FLN attacked numerous police posts, warehouses and communityutilities in Algerian to protest against the French rule in thecountry (Ageron, 1991). The French, through the then Prime Minister,Mendès-France sent soldiers to Algeria to counter the attacks fromFLN. It is worth stating that the French Prime Minister receivedimmense support and applause from the Algerian settler.

The Algerian settlers were mainly the Europeans and they were few innumber compared to the local Algerians. The FLN movement had itsheadquarters in Egypt and it is evident that the movement hadfollowers in other countries such as Tunisia. As the time went by,the guerilla movement in Algeria continued to grow and recruit morepeople. Attacks by the FLN were increasing day after day. This was atime when Edgar Faure was the premier of France. He increased thenumber of troops in Algeria to 120,000 (Asprey, 1975). By 1956, theprime minister of France was Guy Mollet and who was given powers bythe parliament to deal with the FLN. It is worth noting that the FLNhad now strengthened its membership and was carrying terrorismattacks on the European settlers in Algeria. The European settlersretaliated by carrying attacks on the areas where the FLN were knownto reside such as Casbah. These were areas which were considered asslams (Ageron, 1991). The French troops enhanced their hunt for theFLN and would carry out door to door searches looking for thesuspects or members of the movement. The FLN targeted the urbancenters in order to attract international attentions from bodies suchas the United Nations.

One aspect that features greatly in the war of Algiers is thetorture that the French soldiers used on the suspects of FLN (Asprey,1975). Research has indicated that numerous FLN members were forcedto flee Algeria due to the torture that was being meted by the Frenchsoldiers. The movement of some of the FLN members was celebrated bythe European settlers in Algeria. Whereas there were some leftistintellectuals who were against the torture, the French governmenttermed such people as enemies of France (Ageron, 1991). The tortureby the French troops continued despite the revolt. It is worthstating that some of the suspects arrested by the troops died incustody as a result of the torture.

The installation of Charles de Gaulle as the French president by thenational assembly signaled an end to the war. The president wasaccepted by both the Muslims in Algeria, as well as the Europeansettlers. Gaulle is convinced that the continuing fight is untenableand calls for self declaration for Algeria in 1959 (Ageron, 1991).This angers the Europeans and other people supporting the French rulein Algeria. The declaration by Gaulle forced some of the armygenerals to attempt to overthrow him but they failed. The declarationcalled for negotiations between the French officials and the FLNrepresentatives. Although the first negotiations failed, the secondnegotiations resulted in the Evian agreements where the French agreedto a ceasefire.

References

Ageron, C. R. (1991).&nbspModern Algeria: A history from 1830 tothe present. London: Hurst.

Asprey, R. B. (1975).&nbspWar in the shadows. Lincoln, Nev:iUniverse. Vol. 2.