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April 13, 2012

First Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella dies aged 95

First Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella dies aged 95

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Friday, April 13, 2012

A 60s file photo of Ben Bella

Ahmed Ben Bella, the first president of Algeria, died on Wednesday. He was 95.

Known for his struggle against French rule, Ben Bella led the nation from 1963 to 1965 having only learned Arabic during a prison sentence. He came from a poor, agricultural background and left school early, but it was during his schooldays he joined Messali Hadj‘s Algerian People’s Party.

Serving in World War II, Ben Bella was decorated with five medals for actions including conflict at the 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy and shooting down a German aircraft over Marseille, France. After the war he was elected to seniority within a group dedicated to ending French rule.

The movement was deemed illegal and Ben Bella escaped and fled two years after his 1951 arrest for his part in a fundraising robbery. He became a fugitive in Cairo. In 1956 he was re-arrested and imprisoned. A bloody conflict for Algerian independence eventually convinced France to relinquish control in 1962 and Ben Bella was freed. The following year he took control of a one-party nation.

Within years of attaining power, defence minister Houari Boumediene, an ally of current president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, overthrew Ben Bella in a coup. Ben Bella had grappled with post-war consolidation after about 1.5 million French left the nation, leaving gaps in its economy.

Ben Bella died at his Algiers home whilst asleep. He had been receiving hospital treatment for breathing problems. “Today we lost one of modern Algeria’s bravest leaders,” said Bouteflika, declaring eight days of mourning. Successive regimes detained Ben Bella first in prison and later his home from his deposition to 1980 when he left for Switzerland in exile, before being pardoned a decade later. He married journalist Zohra Sellami in 1971.



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February 13, 2011

Algiers protest takes place despite ban

Algiers protest takes place despite ban – Wikinews, the free news source

Algiers protest takes place despite ban

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Algeria
Other stories from Algeria
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Location of Algeria

A map showing the location of Algeria

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Algeria, see the Algeria Portal
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

A planned pro-democracy protest took place Saturday in Algiers, the capital of Algeria, despite a standing government ban on protests in the capital. Massive police presence reduced the event from its planned scope, and dispersed it after a few hours, but did not prevent it.

The demonstration, planned for some time, was to be a march through Algiers, from May First Square, about five kilometers (three miles) to Martyrs Square. Instead, protesters demonstrated in May First Square for a few hours.

Algeria has been officially in a state of emergency for nineteen years. Early this month, following recent pro-democracy events in Tunisia and Egypt, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said the state of emergency will be lifted “soon”. At the same time he also said marches would be allowed everywhere in the country except in Algiers. Leading up to this protest, riot police closed all entrances both to Algiers and to May First Square.

The number of demonstrators who gathered in May First Square despite the police cordons was estimated by officials at 1500, and by demonstration organizers at around 10,000. The number of riot police in the city — with body armor, armored vehicles, and water cannons — was anticipated by officials as high as 30,000, and estimated by organizers as high as 26,000.

The protest was organized by the National Co-ordination for Change and Democracy (CNCD), an umbrella group of Algerian organizations formed in late January. Protesters demanded democratic freedoms, an end to government corruption, and relief from economic hardships. Some protesters called for removal of President Bouteflika, although that was not a stated goal of the organizers.

Several hundred protesters were arrested, at least briefly. Algerian activist Elias Felali, who blogged from within the demonstration, claimed the police wanted to provoke violence, but the protesters were pointedly non-violent.



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April 11, 2009

President of Algeria wins third term in office in landslide victory

President of Algeria wins third term in office in landslide victory

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Algeria
Other stories from Algeria
…More articles here
Location of Algeria

A map showing the location of Algeria

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Algeria, see the Algeria Portal
Flag of Algeria.svg

Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers in February 2006

According to official results, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the 72-year-old president of Algeria, has been reelected to a third term as the country’s leader in a landslide.

Yazid Zerhouni, the Algerian Interior Minister, stated that Bouteflika obtained 90.24% of the vote in the election, which was held on Thursday. Voter turnout was 74%, with some of the opposition parties boycotting the election amidst allegations of election fraud.

Zerhouni said at a news conference that the voter turnout was “exceptional”, but insisted that the figures had not been manipulated, saying that anyone with evidence of fraud should take it to election officials.

Bouteflika’s critics assert that the victory was a foregone conclusion — his opponents were not well known, and his campaign was well-funded. They continued to express outrage over a constitutional amendment adopted last November, which allowed Bouteflika to run for a third five-year term.

The second-place finisher in Thursday’s polls was Louisa Hanoune, representing the Trotskyist Workers’ Party, who managed to take 4.22% of the vote. The Algerian National Front‘s Moussa Touati garnered 2.31% of the polls to take third place.

Bouteflika was first elected to be Algeria’s leader in 1999. He was reelected in 2004 with 84.99% of the vote.



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May 11, 2005

Critics against USA and Israel in Summit of South American-Arab Countries in Brazil

Critics against USA and Israel in Summit of South American-Arab Countries in Brazil

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Brazil’s capital city of Brasilia is hosting the Summit of South American and Arab Countries from May 10 to 11, according to the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva proposed the summit during his visit to several Arab countries in December, 2004.

According to Radiobras, President da Silva said in his speech during the opening ceremony of the summit, that it is necessary to define a new economic and commercial international geography. “We are searching for trade that is fair and balanced, rid of the subsidies imposed by the rich countries, and which assures the poor countries the benefits of globalization. We want to establish a new relationship of solidary collaboration with international financial agencies, and we are striving for the Mercosur and the Gulf Cooperation Council to be able to conclude an economic cooperation agreement”, da Silva said. [1]

Mahmoud Abbas said that Israeli troops should unconditionally withdraw from the occupied Arab territories. Abbas also proposed the creation of an Arab-South American bank.

The President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, said during his speech that Israel should leave the Palestinian territories. Bouteflika defended the criterion of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. [2]

Bouteflika said that the Palestinian situation is “a denial of justice” that can no longer be tolerated. A long round of applause from Summit participants followed his declarations. “We must find a definitive solution for everyone to do his best, to get Israel to submit to international law and accept the negotiated peace,” Bouteflika added. [3]

The President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez said that the Arab and South American countries are related because they both were subjected to exploitation by the richest countries. Chávez said that after World War II, South America has been victim of domination mechanisms by an international financial architecture and by an old international organizations structure. According to Chávez, there is no international democracy. [4]

Chávez said that South American and Arab countries are the biggest oil sources and that this fact stimulates the “American imperialist voracity”. [5]

According to the Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, the final document of the Summit of South American-Arab Countries will condemn terrorism. In addition, the document will include a paragraph about the “right of resistance to foreign occupation, according to international humanitarian law,” said the minister.

The minister said that the document will also mention the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, under dispute by Argentina and the United Kingdom. [6]

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