The Role of Islamic Fundamentalism in Algeria

  • Zola Sonkosi Department of Political Science, University of Durban- Westville
Keywords: Ramadan 1998, Groupe lslamique Armée (GIA), Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN), armed Islamic groups, Algeria, Front De Libération Nationale (FLN), Mohamed Boudiaf, Hocine Ait Ahmeds, French army, colonial occupation by France


Algeria and the Islamist challenge For six years, Algeria has been experiencing a true nightmare of terror. Human rights organisations estimate that since 1992, 120 000 people were killed) by armed Islamic groups or state security, among them many civilians. During Ramadan 1998, there were shocking news of cruelly executed and mutilated women, men and children in Koraa, 80 kilometres south-west of the capital Algiers. The alleged culprits were assumed to belong to the Groupe lslamique Armée (GIA). The critical Algerian press increasingly becomes a victim of fanaticism and state censorship4. In order to understand these events better, it is necessary to take a look at the history of this country. In 1962, Algeria celebrated its independence from 132 years of colonial occupation by France. This great event was preceded by a long and bitter war, which was led by the Front De Libération Nationale (FLN), and its ally, the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN). In 1954, Algerians began to fight the French army that was considered unbeatable. Its defeat was achieved in 1962, but the country was never exposed to democracy and pluralism because the FLN-leadership preferred to practice one-party-rule after the Soviet model. Critics, especially from the ranks of former freedom fighters, among them Mohamed Boudiaf and Hocine Ait Ahmeds, were arrested or forced to go into exile.
How to Cite
Sonkosi, Z. (2012). The Role of Islamic Fundamentalism in Algeria. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 28(2).