RESEARCHED by AdnanTHEMEIn 1957, French Forces were able to militarily defeat and temporarily subdue FLN. However, to the surprise of the whole world, French President Charles De Gaulle opted for a political solution and announced independence for the Algerians in 1962. To what extent did the activities of FLN influence De Gaulle and what other factors can be identified which led to his surprising decision to grant independence to Algeria? Introduction 1. The Algerian War of Independence (1954-62) was a period of guerrilla strikes, maquis fighting, terrorism against civilians on both sides, and riots between the French army and colonists in Algeria and the FLN (Front de Lib'e ration Nationale) and other pro-independence Algerians. Although the French government of the time considered all Algerian violence, including violence against the French military, to be crimes or terrorism, some French people, such as former anti-Nazi guerrilla and lawyer (Jacques Verges) have compared French resistance to Nazi German occupation to Algerian resistance to French occupation. 2.
The struggle was touched off by the FLN in 1954, only two years before France was forced to give up its control over Tunisia and Morocco. The FLN's main Algerian rival - with the same goal of Algerian independence - was the later National Algerian Movement (Mouvement National Alg'e rien, MNA) whose main supporters were Algerian workers in France. The FLN and MNA fought against each other in France, and sometimes in Algeria, for nearly the full duration of the conflict. 3. Algeria was the greatest and in many ways the archetype of all anti-colonial wars. In the 19 th century the Europeans won colonial wars because the indigenous peoples had lost the will to resist.
In the 20 th century the roles were reversed, and it was Europe which lost the will to hang on to its gains. Algeria was a classic case of this reversal. 4. In 1830 Algeria became a French territory and in 1848 was made a d' attached to France. During this period political and economic power were held mainly by the minority of white settlers, and the indigenous Moslem minority did not have equal rights.
Moslems were killed before independence was declared on July 5, 1962. Later that year the Algerian provisional government transferred authority to the Political Bureau of the FLN, the National Constituent Assembly was elected from a list of FLN candidates, and a republic was proclaimed with Ahmed Ben Bella, one of the original leaders of the FLN, as president. Nearly one million French and other Europeans (pieds noirs, or black feet) left the country when the French army withdrew. Aim 5. To carryout a study of the activities of FLN and other contributing factors which led to the decision by the French government to give independence to Algeria. Sequence 6.
The sequence of presentation will be: -a. PART 1 (1) Geography. (2) Historical background. (3) Genesis of FLN. (4) Activities of FLN / Conduct of War. b.
PART 2. Other Contributing Factors. (1) Diplomatic Achievements of FLN. (2) French Weaknesses. c. Conclusion.
PART I Geography 7. Algeria is located in northern Africa with Mediterranean Sea on its north and Tunisia in the northeast, Libya in the east, Niger in the southeast, Mali and Mauritania in the southwest, Morocco and Western Sahara in the west. The country is formally known as the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. 8. The name Algeria is derived from the name of the city of Algiers, which in Arabic al-jayā' ir, translates as the islands, referring to the four islands which lay off the coast until becoming part of the mainland in 1525.
9. About 90% of the Algerians live in the northern, coastal area; although there are about 1. 5 million people living in the southern desert most of them in oases. The mixed Berber and Arab population is mostly Islamic (99%); other religions are restricted to extremely small groups, mainly of foreigners. Historical Back Ground 10. Algeria's first inhabitants were Berbers, who still represent a significant minority.
Algeria has been occupied many times during its history by Phoenicians and Romans among others but the Arab invasions of the 8 th and 11 th centuries A. D. had the greatest cultural impact. In 1492 Moors and Jews expelled from Spain settled in Algeria. Between 1518 and 1830 Algeria was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire.
11. On 14 Jun 1830, French tips landed on the coast, 25 miles away from Algiers and captured the city. They annexed Bone, Oran and Algiers. Charles X fell from power in the last days of Jul 1830, leaving the French Expeditionary Force in Algeria without any policy. By 1857 the whole country was physically occupied but the complete pacification was accomplished by 1881. France instigated other Mediterranean races to come and settle in Algeria.
They confiscated the land and gave it to incoming colons. Genesis of FLN 12. There was a foretaste in May 1945, when the Arabs massacred 103 Europeans. The French reprisals were on a savage scale. Dive bombers blew 40 villages to pieces; a cruiser bombarded others. The Algerian Communist Party journal Liberty called for the rebels to be 'swiftly and pitilessly punished, the instigators put in front of a firing squad.' According to the French official report, 1020 to 1300 Arabs were killed; the Arabs claimed 45000.
Many demobilized Arab soldiers returned home to find their families dead, their homes demolished. It was these former NCOs who formed the leadership of the future Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN). As the most conspicuous of them, Ahmed Ben Bella, put it: 'the horrors of the Constantine area in May 1945 persuaded me of the only path: Algeria for the Algerians.' 13. A meeting was held in Switzerland on 10 October 1954, the revolutionary movement received its name Front de Liberation Nationale - FLN. The same day a date was fixed for simultaneous outbreak of revolt all through Algeria: "00. 01 hours on 1 st November" All Saints day.
14. On 1 November 1954, the embittered NCOs were ready: Ben Bella, by now an experienced urban terrorist, linked forces with Belkacem Kim, to launch a national uprising. It is important to grasp that the object, from start to finish, was not to defeat the French Army. That would have been impossible. The aim was to destroy the concept of assimilation and multi-racialism by eliminating the moderates on both sides. In the first two and a half years of war, they murdered only 1035 Europeans but 6532 Arabs (authenticate cases - the real figure was nearer 20000).
By this point the moderates could only survive by becoming killers themselves or going into exile. Activities of FLN / Conduct of War 15. In the early morning hours of November 1, 1954, FLN maquis ards (guerrillas) launched attacks in various parts of Algeria against military installations, police posts, warehouses, communications facilities, and public utilities. From Cairo, the FLN broadcast a proclamation calling on Muslims in Algeria to join in a national struggle for the 'restoration of the Algerian state, sovereign, democratic, and social, within the framework of the principles of Islam.' The French minister of interior, socialist Francois Mitterrand, responded sharply that 'the only possible negotiation is war.' It was the reaction of Premier Pierre Mend " es-France, who only a few months before had completed the liquidation of France's empire in Indochina, that set the tone of French policy for the next five years. On November 12, he declared in the National Assembly: 'One does not compromise when it comes to defending the internal peace of the nation, the unity and integrity of the Republic. The Algerian departments are part of the French Republic.
They have been French for a long time, and they are irrevocably French... Between them and metropolitan France there can be no conceivable secession.' 16. The FLN strategy was, in fact, to place the mass of the Muslims in a sandwich of terror. On the one side, the FLN killers replaced the moderates. On the other, FLN atrocities were designed to provoke the French into savage reprisals, and so drive the Muslim population into the extremist camp. FLN doctrine was spelt out with cold blooded precision by the Brazilian terrorist Carlos Marighela.
17. On the political front, the FLN worked to persuade - and to coerce - the Algerian masses to support the aims of the independence movement. FLN-oriented labor unions, professional associations, and students' and women's organizations were organized to rally diverse segments of the population. Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist from Martinique who became the FLN's leading political theorist, provided a sophisticated intellectual justification for the use of violence in achieving national liberation. From Cairo, Ahmed Ben Bella ordered the liquidation of potential valuables, those independent representatives of the Muslim community acceptable to the French through whom a compromise or reforms within the system might be achieved.
18. A conference was held in Soummam valley, on 20 August 56. About 200 ALN delegates attended this conference. The consensus was arrived on followings: -a.
Affirmed collective leadership. b. Internal matters were to take priority over external. c. Narrow down internal and external differences. d.
Political and military relationships were defined. e. Creation of National Council of the Algerian Revolution (CNR A), a Governing Body, (17 x members from ID and ED). f. Creation of Committee of Coordination and Execution (CCE), an executive body to deal with prom in ranks of ALN, liaison between Wilayas and ensure that all fol the master plans. g.
It was agreed to launch terrorist offensive in Algeria. h. Introduced ranks in ALN. 19. Algeria was divided into six Wilayas as under: -a. A ures Mtns, commander Ben Boul aid.
b. North Constantine region, commander Rabat Bit at. c. Kabylie region, commander Belkacem Karim.
d. The coastal area of Algiers department, commanded by Di douche. e. Oran department, commanded by La rbi Ben M' Hid i. f. South of Wilayas III and IV, including Sahara Desert.
20. Wilayas were divided into zones, commanded by Captains, zones divided into regions, commanded by 2/Lt and regions were made up of sectors, commanded by Warrant Officers. Basic field units i. e. battalion having 3 x companies were organized. The Muslims were organized into three separate elements: -a.
Moujahidines. Regular full time soldiers and pay scale was introduced for them. b. Moussebilines. Functioned on part time, carryout their normal occupation but available to give support to regular troops, served as guides, sentries, messengers, saboteurs and intelligence agents.
They were unpaid. c. Fidayines. They were part time helpers and fighters in the villages. They were to carryout supportive tasks.
They acted as smugglers, porters, sentries and intelligence agents. 21. Initially insurgents had combined the political and military planning of insurrection, but later on, it was separated as under: -a. External Delegation (ED).
It was based in Cairo, controlled the political direction of movement, procure arms and supplies, established line of supply into Algeria, obtain diplomatic, financial and military assistance from sympathetic states. b. Internal Delegation (ID). It consisted of nominated leaders of Wilayas. They were military leaders and concerned primarily with raising, arming, training and pursuing active operations. 22.
From its origins in 1954 as ragtag maquis ards numbering in the hundreds and armed with a motley assortment of hunting rifles and discarded French, German, and United States light weapons, the ALN had evolved by 1957 into a disciplined fighting force of nearly 40, 000. More than 30, 000 were organized along conventional lines in external units that were stationed in Moroccan and Tunisian sanctuaries near the Algerian border, where they served primarily to divert some French manpower from the main theaters of guerrilla activity to guard against infiltration. The brunt of the fighting was borne by the internals in the welayat; estimates of the numbers of internals range from 6, 000 to more than 25, 000, with thousands of part-time irregulars. 23. During 1956 and 1957, the ALN successfully applied hit-and-run tactics according to the classic canons of guerrilla warfare.
Specializing in ambushes and night raids and avoiding direct contact with superior French firepower, the internal forces targeted army patrols, military encampments, police posts, and colon farms, mines, and factories, as well as transportation and communications facilities. Once an engagement was broken off, the guerrillas merged with the population in the countryside. Kidnapping was commonplace, as were the ritual murder and mutilation of captured French military, colons of both genders and every age, suspected collaborators, and traitors. At first, the revolutionary forces targeted only Muslim officials of the colonial regime; later, they coerced or killed even those civilians who simply refused to support them. Moreover, during the first two years of the conflict, the guerrillas killed about 6, 000 Muslims and 1, 000 Europeans. 24.
Gradually, however, the FLN/ALN gained control in certain sectors of the Aur " es, the Kabylie, and other mountainous areas around Constantine and south of Algiers and Oran. In these places, the ALN established a simple but effective- although frequently temporary - military administration that was able to collect taxes and food and to recruit manpower. But it was never able to hold large fixed positions. Muslims all over the country also initiated underground social, judicial, and civil organizations, gradually building their own state. 25. To increase international and domestic French attention to their struggle, the FLN decided to bring the conflict to the cities and to call a nationwide general strike.
The most notable manifestation of the new urban campaign was the Battle of Algiers, which began on September 30, 1956, when three women placed bombs at three sites including the downtown office of Air France. The ALN carried out an average of 800 shootings and bombings per month through the spring of 1957, resulting in many civilian casualties and inviting a crushing response from the authorities. The 1957 general strike, timed to coincide with the UN debate on Algeria, was imposed on Muslim workers and businesses. 26.
In the three years (1957-60) during which the re-grouping program was followed, more than 2 million Algerians were removed from their villages, mostly in the mountainous areas, and resettled in the plains, where many found it impossible to reestablish their accustomed economic or social situations. Living conditions in the camps were poor. Hundreds of empty villages were devastated, and in hundreds of others orchards and croplands were destroyed. 27. The French army shifted its tactics at the end of 1958 from dependence on to the use of mobile forces deployed on massive search-and-destroy missions against ALN strongholds. Within the next year, Salan's successor, General Maurice Challe, appeared to have suppressed major rebel resistance.
But political developments had already overtaken the French army's successes. 28. In 1958-59 the French army had won military control in Algeria and was the closest it would be to victory. During that period in France, however, opposition to the conflict was growing among many segments of the population. Thousands of relatives of conscripts and reserve soldiers suffered loss and pain; revelations of torture and the indiscriminate brutality the army visited on the Muslim population prompted widespread revulsion; and a significant constituency supported the principle of national liberation. International pressure was also building on France to grant Algeria independence.
Annually since 1955 the UN General Assembly had considered the Algerian question, and the FLN position was gaining support. France's seeming intransigence in settling a colonial war that tied down half the manpower of its armed forces was also a source of concern to its NATO allies. In a September 1959 statement, de Gaulle dramatically reversed his stand and uttered the words 'self-determination,' . 29.
Talks with the FLN reopened at Evian in May 1961; after several false starts, the French government decreed that a ceasefire would take effect on March 19, 1962. In their final form, the Evian Accords allowed the colons equal legal protection with Algerians over a three year period. These rights included respect for property, participation in public affairs, and a full range of civil and cultural rights. At the end of that period, however, Europeans would be obliged to become Algerian citizens or be classified as aliens with the attendant loss of rights. The French electorate approved the Evian Accords by an overwhelming 91 percent vote in a referendum held in June 1962. 30.
On July 1, 1962, some 6 million of a total Algerian electorate of 6. 5 million cast their ballots in the referendum on independence. The vote was nearly unanimous. De Gaulle pronounced Algeria an independent country on July 3. The Provisional Executive, however, proclaimed July 5, the 132 nd anniversary of the French entry into Algeria, as the day of national independence. PART II Political / Diplomatic Achievements of FLN 31.
Following are some of the important achievements by the FLN: -a. Bandung Conference. The FLN delegation was invited to attend this conference. The presence of FLN delegation in the conference was sufficient to achieve a notable victory on international scene. In the conference, they condemned colonialism and agreed on Algeria's right of independence. They called France to implement it forthwith.
FLN lobbied the cause and declared that it's aim was to establish a sovereign state in Algeria, headed by popular leaders who could make decisions independent from French influence. With this conference the road to UN was opened. b. Case Moved to UN. The ED of FLN attracted considerable notice overseas to its cause.
They persuaded Arabs and other friendly countries to cause the UN General Assembly to consider the Algerian problem on 30 September 1955. c. Reaction of Arab States on Arrest of FLN Leaders. On 22 October 56, Ben Bella and other FLN leaders were kidnapped. These leaders were on visit to Sultan of Morocco to get aid and support for FLN. The aircraft while flying over Algeria was forced down and passengers were arrested.
This act caused outcry on part of Arab states, who regarded it as a gross breach of traditional hospitality. It was a morale booster and a powerful propaganda in diplomatic fields for ALN. d. Afro-Asian Conference. FLN representatives attended this conference held in Cairo in December 57. They put forward their case.
e. Formation of Government in Exile. FLN wanted to form a government in exile, but it was objected by Tunisia and Morocco. On 16 September 58, the FLN after getting support from Egypt, announced a "Free Algerian Government-in-Exile" in Cairo. It was recognized by Arab countries.
f. Arab Summit- February 57. Arab Summit comprised of Syria, Jordan, KSA and Egypt, first display of Middle East unity was held in Cairo. It declared its total support for Algerian cause. g. US Support.
After Arab Summit US vice president Nixon visited Tunis to participate in first anniversary of independence. After his meeting with Bourguiba he proposed a referendum in Algeria to choose her status. Kennedy, US Senator, made an imp pronouncement in US Senate. He asked US to exert influence for the independence of Algeria. He accused US policy of retreat from principles of independence and anti colonialism. With this US policy on Algeria began to shift.
Henceforth, instead of backing France at UN, US would abstain. It was a serious blow for French policy. French Weaknesses 32. These are summarise d as under: -a. Military Commanders. The military commanders failed to grasp the situation.
They thought, it was probably a small tribal revolt and they immediately called for reinforcement. b. Pattern of Counter Insurgency. The operations were conventional one and consisted of: manning posts in insurgent territory, sending out strong patrols, setting ambushes and large scale search and cordon operations.
The patrols stayed for very short time and could not provide round the clock protection to the people. The people were afraid to pass any info about the insurgents. c. Friction Among Army and Civil Administration. Division of responsibilities is essential and army should not be employed without the consents of civil administration. Jacques Soustelle, after his a ppt as Governor General made some administrative changes.
He send army officers to look after the areas that had previously been neglected. This caused some friction among army and civil administration. Soustelle was unpopular among Europeans in Algeria, who were not prep to surrender any of their privileges and did what they could to nullify his measures. d. Involvement of Army in Politics. Army should not involve in politics.
Let the politicians to find out a political solution of problems. e. Discontent Within Officer Cadre. There was discontent within army officers. They were disappointed by the loss of Indo-China, which they put down to the ineptitude, blundering and lack of support from politicians.
When they saw similar mis-management here, discontent within officers cadre grew. f. Distrust on Senior Officers. To conduct such operations trust and confidence on senior officers is mandatory.
Mistrust on them would lead to failure, as in this case. General Salan, senior most army officer, was distrusted by army officers. He had the reputation as an intriguer and was suspected to be in secret contacts with several politicians of different persuasions. g. Lack of Political Direction. In Algeria there was no political direction to the army actions.
There were differences among the politicians on the policy of government in handling the situation. Army was operating at her own without clear cut political direction from Paris. h. Army-Ill-informed of Political Decisions. President de Gaulle made some concessions to FLN and asked for cease fire. He, on 16 September 59, made a broadcast offering the Muslims three choices: secession, complete integration or self government in close association with France, within four years of the restoration of peace.
This change in political attitude was not made clear to the Army, which was still preaching integration of Europeans and Muslims into a French Algeria. j. Faith on Algerian Muslim Soldiers. In such situations, it is criminal for army to place too much faith on local soldiers as they may change their loyalties owing to different pressures. The desertion rate was at increase and several too trusting officers were murdered by their Muslim soldiers who deserted with their arms to ALN.
k. Declaration of the State of Emergency. The National Assembly of France did not declare emergency in Algeria till 31 March 55, then it was left to the discretion of Governor General as to where it should be applied. The state of emergency was applied to whole Algeria on 30 August 55. l. Weak French Government.
There were many conflicting groups in government. French domestic politics did not help to solve the Algerian problem. There was communist influence in France which was against the harsh measures being taken in Algeria, while on the other hand the powerful Europeans becoming angry over the constant incidents of terrorism, wanted firmer action to be taken. m. The Generals Revolt-April 61. On 22 April 61, four retired French General officers namely Salan, Challe, Jouhaud and Zeller revolted in Algeria with the support of army.
They sacked Delegate General Morin and took over control of French-Algerian government. They formed, "Secret Army Organization" (OAS). It was given an exclusive authority to issue instructions to population. This had created an alarm at Paris. There were protests in Paris against this revolt. n.
Activities of OAS. The OAS terrorism and destruction led to French soldiers firing on Frenchmen. Protracted negotiations preceded the total eclipse of the Europeans in Algeria and success of the insurgent cause. o. Drive Wedge Between FLN and Population. The French government failed to drive wedge between FLN (which until then had only antagonized and frightened the people) and the Muslim masses.
They missed this opportunity. In November 57, 5 th Bureau was established and allowed to start working on the minds of the Muslims. Then it was too late. p. Role of 5 th Bureau. It was established to conduct psychological operations but with the passage of time it was almost free of control from Paris.
It changed into a policy making body. Its members adapt policy to suit their views of operations required in Algeria. q. Recruitment.
French High Command recruited large no of Muslims. But in depressed, overpopulated country, many Algerians served for the sake of regular pay and rations; their presence facilitated the FLN infiltrators, and they complicated the operational picture. Guaranteeing the safety of family was an essential part of recruit bargain, and in some cases the Army had to go to protect the families. Conclusion 32. The Algerian war of independence is an example of the determination and will of the people to achieve their goal. Though, militarily subdued by French forces, the FLN was able to get political and diplomatic support from the civilized world which ultimately compelled French authorities to announce independence for the Algerian people.
This war of independence passed through many ups and downs and millions of innocent people suffered badly but the ultimate will of the people found its way to the final success. Movement of such nature should always remain a source of inspiration and motivation for the deprived and suppressed people of the world. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Books Alistair Horne; A Savage War Of Peace, Algeria 1954 - 1962, Macmillan London Limited, London. Tania Matthews; War in Algeria: Background for Crisis, Fordham University Press.
Dorothy Pickles; Algeria and France: From Colonialism to Cooperation, Methuen and co. ltd. 2. Internet. web encarta. man.
com/Algerian War of Independence. html c. web web Ware. web War of Independence.
htm f. web web web.