In 1962, Algeria (Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah) achieved independence, after more than a century of rule by France. In 1988, the Government of Algeria instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000.
In 2011, the government introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies while also increasing subsidies to the populace. Algeria’s reliance on hydrocarbon revenues to finance the government and large subsidies for the population is under stress because of declining oil prices (source: U.S. CIA).
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