Algeria is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It became independent of France in 1962.

Capital city: Algiers, also Algeria’s most populous city. Algiers is located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast.

Size: With an area of 919,595 square milies (2,381,741 square kilometres), Algeria is the world’s tenth largest country, the largest by area in the African Union and the the Arab world.

Population: Over 44 million (Africa’s eighth most populous country).


1954 War of Independence against France: In 1954, the Algerian National Front (FLN) began a war against French rule which led, eight years later, to Algeria’s independence. The war caused an exodus of pieds-noirs to France and ended the French practice of beefing up its own inferior AC wines with Algerian. Muslims who fought alongside the French in Algeria became known as the Harkis (pro-French Muslims). Many faced reprisals after the war. Some 300,000 pro-French Algerians were disarmed after hostilities ceased.

1957 Battle of Algiers: This raged in 1957 at the height of the war.

1962 Peace Accord: Signed by France and Algeria in March, 1962. France’s annexation of the country ends after a brutal eight-year war. Harkis are offered small compensation payments (from France) but no protection against reprisals. Within months up to 250,000 Harkies were said to have been slaughtered by FLN supporters. Another 40,000 ended up in France, where they were treated poorly. Between 1962-1975 the Bias camp near Bordeaux housed 1,300 Harkis.

1992 Civil War: Algeria’s civil war…broke out after the ‘army stepped into politics in 1992 by cancelling Algeria’s first (and only) free election after Islamists [the Islamic Salvation Front, better known by its French acronymn, FIS, who sought an Iranian-style revolution] were poised to win. That touched off a decade-long civil war that killed 200,000 people,’ (The Economist, March 16th 2019 p.36).

1995 Cross-Checks: Algerians going to France (and the rest of Europe) endured long delays due to heighented border security, as the civil war in Algeria continued.

1999 Bouteflika takes power: The army generals help bring President Abdelazziz Bouteflika to power.

2001 Harkis Demand Recognition: Harkis demonstrated in France to demand recognition for their sacrifice for France during the Algerian Civil War. France was under pressure to   ing the Algerian Civil War. France was under pressure to admit criminal complicity in its treatment of the Harkis after the Evian Peace Accord was signed in 1962.

2004 Bouteflika retains power: The army generals agreed to President Abdelazziz Bouteflika’s re-election in 2004.

2005 French Law: No Apology: A law, passed by the French parliament in Feb 2005, referred to the “positive role of the French presence overseas, especially in North Africa.” This offending clause was later removed, only after causing huge resentment in Algeria. France still refused to apologise formally for 132 years of colonial rule. Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy called French rioters (many of whom were of Algerian descent) in the French balnieues “scum”.

Economy: Largely dependent on oil and gas.