1954 - Algerian War of Independence
Title: 1954 - Algerian War of Independence
About: A faction of young Algerian Muslims establishes the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) as a guerrilla organization dedicated to winning independence from France.
Algeria had been a French protectorate since the 1830s, and had become entirely integrated into the French colonial system. The reality of this was pitiless exploitation of the native population and the perpetuation of an apartheid social structure. France justified this state of affairs by portraying itself to the world as bringing civilization and egalitarianism to a backward indigenous population.
The insurgency began with armed attacks on French government and military targets all over Algeria. The FLN leadership called on all Algerians to support the fight for full independence from France. The French responded with a campaign of counter-violence in an attempt to crush the insurgency before it could gain momentum.
The FLN strategy was: (1) win the support of the local population by disseminating information and propaganda; (2) separate the French government from the Algerian people by methods both peaceful and violent; (3) gain control of the countryside; (4) destroy the network of French collaborators and informers; and (5) establish an alternative social system and government that would be ready to take power once the French left.
By day, the FLN would attack soft targets in an attempt to provoke overreactions from the government. By night, the insurgents would melt into the local population. These were classic guerrilla tactics, and they worked. In response, the French military forces increased their presence and launched "search and destory: operations, as well as the widespread use of torture and other questionable tactics. It did little to reduce the insurgency, but rather alienated many otherwise apathetic Algerians from France.
The brutal conflict would drag on for seven years, with increasing strikes and acts of urban terrorism, until a peace agreement promising an independence referendum was agreed in 1962.
Country: Algeria + France
Conflict: Regional War
Type: Historical Event
Artist: Stefan Milosavljevic
Price: 0.4 ETH