911, Al Qaeda, Algeria, Algeria and the west, Algeria and the World, Algerian Civil War, Boumédiène, Bouteflika, civil war, FIS, GIA, history of Algeria, Iraq, Libya, Malek Bensmail, oil, Oujda, protest, social change, terrorism
“A free press is a democratic asset that many journalists paid for with their lives, during the civil war in Algeria. The war, which broke out in 1991, left 200,000 dead and 100,000 missing. Around 120 Algerian journalists were murdered by Islamist extremists between 1993 and 1998…
In Algeria, the notion of the individual has not yet fully developed. We are locked into the idea of a community. We have a nation to defend, a country to defend, a god to defend, a language to defend. There is always that “one” figure, which is omnipresent, omnipotent, which is supposed to include us all – while in reality there are celebrities, intellectuals, journalists, judges, students, etc., who live in a multicultural and multilingual space, who think differently and who constitute a set of small checks and balances necessary for a democracy”. (Malek Bensmail, 2018) https://en.unesco.org/courier/2018-3/filming-reality-can-be-disturbing-it-matures-you
“Algeria and the World – ARTE Documentary” https://youtu.be/ulLTFGtkTHs
Apparently this film is only available in Europe or by using a VPN. If you are unable to get it, maybe you can write and ask Malek Bensmail, at his web site, to make it available elsewhere. Or ask Arte. This English version is available in Ireland or on an Irish VPN. There is probably a French and German version.
The American public can benefit, in many ways, from seeing this movie. Australians can benefit in thinking of the risks of natural resource export dependency, especially as Australia has become so dependent upon exporting iron ore, and other natural resources, to China.
Malek Bensmail was born in Algeria to a French mother and an Algerian doctor father, shortly after Algeria had won its independence from France. During the Algerian Civil War, his French mother had to flee to Spain, whereas his Algerian father had to stay in Algeria. So, this is surely very personal to him. Hopefully one day soon, he will tell the story of his parents.
Bouteflika recently died, and his brother was recently arrested. So, it’s a timely film.
“Algeria and the World – A Film by Malek Bensmaïl
Algeria is the largest country in Africa and has immense natural resources. But the continent’s second largest military power seems isolated and ignored on the international scene. While president Bouteflika’s regime has fallen and the popular protest movement has shown that the people are ready to enter a more modern and democratic era, the country still appears to be stuck.
This film looks at Algeria’s turbulent history since independence featuring interviews with Algerian ministers, ambassadors and generals, as well as international heads of state, financial experts and advisors.
* Malik Bensmail
* 2021 “
NB: St. Augustine was a Romanized Berber from Algeria. Algeria was the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. Indigenous Berber activists say that North Africa is not Arab but Arabicised Berbers.
Those many Americans who seem to gleefully speak of (Civil) War need only look at this war to see what it means. Also, to see Muslims being attacked and killed by Muslim extremists (Islamists):
“The Algerian Civil War was a civil war in Algeria fought between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups from 26 December 1991 (following a coup negating an Islamist electoral victory) to 8 February 2002. The war began slowly, as it first appeared the government had successfully crushed the Islamist movement, but armed groups emerged to fight jihad and by 1994, violence had reached such a level that it appeared the government might not be able to withstand it. By 1996–97, it had become clear that the Islamist resistance had lost its popular support, although fighting continued for several years after.
The war has been referred to as ‘the dirty war’ (la sale guerre), and saw extreme violence and brutality used against civilians. Islamists targeted journalists, over 70 of whom were killed, and foreigners, over 100 of whom were killed, although it is thought by many that security forces as well as Islamists were involved, as the government had infiltrated the insurgents. Children were widely used, particularly by the rebel groups. Total fatalities have been estimated at 44,000 to between 100,000 and 200,000.
The conflict began in December 1991, when the new and enormously popular Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party appeared poised to defeat the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party in the national parliamentary elections. The elections were canceled after the first round and the military effectively took control of the government, forcing pro-reform president Chadli Bendjedid from office. After the FIS was banned and thousands of its members arrested, Islamist guerrillas rapidly emerged and began an armed campaign against the government and its supporters.
They formed themselves into various armed groups, principally the Islamic Armed Movement (MIA), based primarily in the mountains, and the more hard-line Armed Islamic Group (GIA), based primarily in the towns. The GIA motto was “no agreement, no truce, no dialogue” and it declared war on the FIS in 1994 after the latter had made progress in negotiations with the government. The MIA and various smaller insurgent bands regrouped, becoming the FIS-loyalist Islamic Salvation Army (AIS).
After talks collapsed, elections were held in 1995 and won by the army’s candidate, General Liamine Zéroual. The GIA not only fought the AIS but both it and the government began a series of massacres targeting entire neighborhoods or villages which peaked in 1997. The massacre policy caused desertion and splits in the GIA, while the AIS, under attack from both sides, declared a unilateral ceasefire with the government in 1997. In the meantime, the 1997 parliamentary elections were won by a newly created pro-Army party supporting the president.
In 1999, following the election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika as president, violence declined as large numbers of insurgents “repented”, taking advantage of a new amnesty law. The remnants of the GIA proper were hunted down over the next two years, and had practically disappeared by 2002, with the exception of a splinter group called the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC),[Note 1] which announced its support for Al-Qaeda in October 2003 and continued fighting an insurgency that would eventually spread to other countries in the region.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_Civil_War
Bouteflika in 1958 with the “Oujda Clan” during the Algerian War of Liberation from France (number 1). Boumédiène is number 2.
Bouteflika au sein du « clan d’Oujda », en 1958. (Accroupi au centre, no 1).
Saber68 — Yves Courrière, Public Domain
Clan d’Oujda. (1958)
(alias Abdelkader El Mali).
3-Colonel Ali Kafi.
(alias Si Mabrouk).
5-Colonel Mostafa Benaouda.
En arrière-plan : des cadres et des militants.
Source Yves Courrièr”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clan_d%27Oujda_1958.jpg