Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Algeria

 

Algeria Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

Flag of Algeria

Language: Arabic
Currency: Algerian dinar (DZD)
Calling code: 213

 

 

 

Algeria, officially the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is one of the fifty-four countries that make up the African continent. Its capital and most populated city is Algiers. It is located to the north of the continent, bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Tunisia and Libya, on the south by Niger and Mali, on the southwest by Mauritania and on the west by the non-autonomous territory of Western Sahara and Morocco. With 2 381 740 km² it is the largest country in the continent and with 33 333 216 inhabitants. in 2008, the ninth most populous, behind Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Morocco.

Together with Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya, it is one of the countries that comprise the Maghreb. Constitutionally, it is defined as an Arab, Amazigh and Muslim country. It is a member of the African Union and the Arab League since practically its independence, and contributed to the creation of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) in 1988.

 

Travel Destinations in Algeria

 

Ahaggar National Park

Ahaggar National Park is famous for its unusual mountains that create beautiful landscape.

 

Algiers

Algiers is the largest city in Algeria that also serves as its capital. It is occasionally referred as Alger la Blanche or Algiers the White after the color of its buildings.

Chrea National Park

Chrea National Park is protected area of a temperate forest that you would not expect to see in this corner of the World.

Djémila

Djémila or Cuicul as it was known back then, was constructed by the Romans during reign of emperor Nerva.

Djurdjura National Park

Djurdjura National Park is an expansive nature preserve that covers mountains in Kabylia region.

 

El Kala National Park

El Kala National Park protects sclerophyllous forests and wetlands on the beaches in El Tarf Province of Algeria.

 

Gouraya National Park

Gouraya National Park situated in Béjaïa Province in the Northern Algeria. This natural reserve covers an area of 20.8 km² on the Mediterranean coast.

Lambaesis

Lambaesis is a city that grew around Roman military camp of third legion (Legio III Augusta) between 123 and 129 AD.

Tassili n'Ajjer

Tassili n'Ajjer is a dry plateau that is famous for ancient rock art left by prehistoric man from the time when these lands were covered by grasslands.

 

Tiddis

Tiddis is an ancient Roman settlement situated near Bni Hamden village in the Constantine Province of Algeria.

Timgad

Timgad was constructed in 100 AD Ex nihilo ("out of nothing" Latin) by the Emperor Trajan. It served as a defense against Berber tribes in the Aures Mountain.

 

Tipasa

Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea Tipasa was originally found by the Phoenicians as a trade post in the North Africa. Roman Emperor Claudius turned it into a colony in the first century AD.

 

 

 

History

Algeria in antiquity
Stone tools belonging to the Lower and Middle Paleolithic (400-300 thousand years ago) were found. In ancient times, ancient Libyan tribes lived on the territory of modern Algeria. In the XII century BC e. the first Phoenician colonies arose.

In the III century BC. e. tribal unions of the masses and mazesils arose. The leader of the masses Massinissa united both unions into a single state of Numidia. The king of Numidia of Yugurt (116-105 BC) was defeated in the Yugurt war with Rome and in 46 BC. e. Numidia turned into a Roman province.

In 438 AD e. the coastal part of North Africa (including the territory of modern Algeria) was conquered by vandals. In the year 439 e. a kingdom of vandals and Alans is created. In the year 534 e. part of the territory of modern Algeria was conquered by Byzantium.

VII – XIX centuries
In the 7th century, the territory of modern Algeria was conquered by the Arabs and annexed to the Arab Caliphate. The Byzantines were expelled. Islam is spreading rapidly among the country's population.

In 761–909, the Kharijite imamat Tahert, in which the Rustamids ruled, existed in Algeria. After his fall under the blows of the Fatimids, the fugitives created the medieval state of Mzab in the Sahara. The successors of the Fatimids were Zirids. In 1014-1152 Hammadids ruled over a large part of Algeria.

In the XI century, two Arab tribes invaded Algeria - Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym, which accelerated the process of Arabization. The western part of Algeria was captured by the Almoravids, who were replaced by the Almohad. Tlemcen was the capital of the state of the Zayanids (Abdalvadids).

At the beginning of the XVI century, the Spaniards seized the coastal cities of Algeria: Mers el-Kebir (1505), Oran (1509), Bejaya (1510), Algeria (1510) and others. Algerian feudal lords turned to the corsairs to the Barbaross brothers for help. Hayreddin Barbarossa ruled in Algeria in 1519–46. and recognized himself as a vassal of the Turkish sultan, from whom he received the title of balerbey. In the 2nd half of the 16th century, Algeria became a pashalyk (province) of the Ottoman Empire, divided into 3 beyliks: Konstantin, Titteri (Medea) and Mascara (Oran). Piracy flourishes on the Barbarian coast. In 1711, dei Baba Ali expelled the last Turkish pasha and stopped paying tribute to the Sultan. European states recognized the actual independence of Algeria. At the end of the 18th century, the state of the maidens fell into decay, the income from corsairism sharply decreased.

At the beginning of the 19th century, French colonization began.

1830 - the beginning of the French colonial invasion. Armed struggle (for example, the rebellion of Abd al-Qadir) lasts almost until the end of the 19th century.
1848 - Algeria was declared the territory of France (French Algeria), divided into departments led by prefects and headed by the French Governor General.

XX century
April 1940 - during World War II, after France surrendered to Hitler Germany, Algeria became a source of raw materials and food for Germany and Italy.
November 1942 - Anglo-American troops landed in Algeria. In the offensive on Tunisia on the side of the Allies, French troops also take part, to a large extent manned by Algerians, Moroccans and residents of other French colonies in Africa.
1954 - The National Liberation Front (TNF) was formed in Algeria.
In 1957, France began work on the construction of a nuclear testing ground in Algeria. On November 3, 1959, General Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech at the Center for Higher Military Studies. He stated that the main goal of France’s nuclear program is to create a national strike force based on nuclear weapons that could be used anywhere in the world.

The developer of French nuclear weapons was Bertrand Goldschmidt, who worked with Maria Curie and participated in the Manhattan project.

On February 13, 1960, France conducted its first atmospheric nuclear test at a test site near the city of Reggan in the province of Adrar, in southwestern Algeria (about 70 kilotons of TNT - for comparison, a nuclear charge of 13 to 18 kilotons was blown up in Hiroshima, about Nagotaki 21 kilotons). In total, according to official figures, France carried out 17 atomic explosions in Algeria. In-Ecker - French training ground for 13 atomic tests between 1961 and 1966. According to Algerian data, in some areas near Reggan, the level of radiation even now far exceeds permissible standards.

 

Later, after the liberation of Algeria, France had to look for another landfill. For this purpose, atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa in French Polynesia were chosen in 1963.

Ammar Mansouri, a specialist in the Algerian Atomic Research Center, believes that after independence was declared by Algeria on March 18, 1962, France continued secret tests in exchange for the Evian Accords, under which General de Gaulle recognized the independence of Algeria, and up to 40 nuclear explosions were carried out until 1966, in addition to the main tests, but the classified stamp has not yet been removed from this information.

In September 1959, the French government recognized the Algerians' right to self-determination, but this move was met with hostility by the French colonists and the “right”, large-scale anti-government rebellions were organized twice in order to stop the transfer of political power to the local population. The TNF begins a war of independence, leading to large casualties, the number of which varies, according to various estimates, from 300 thousand to 1 million. A large proportion of this number are civilians. The negotiation process ended with the signing on March 18, 1962 of ceasefire and self-determination agreements in Algeria through a referendum (Evian Accords). During the referendum in Algeria, the turnout was 91%, 99.7% of those who voted for Algeria’s self-determination, and in France, opinions were divided equally, making 64% in favor. In accordance with previous agreements, France withdrew its troops in 1964, by July 1, 1967, evacuated military bases in the Sahara, and in February 1968, evacuated a naval base in Mers-al-Kebir. The economic assets of large French companies in Algeria, under the letter of the Evian Agreements, remained in their hands, although the property of the colonists was nationalized. Algeria withdrew from NATO.

Attempts to create an underground UAS military fascist organization (fr. Organization armee secrete), created in 1961, to disrupt the implementation of agreements by means of mass terror in cities were unsuccessful. During the referendum of July 1, 1962, the vast majority of Algerians supported independence, which was immediately recognized by the French government. Over a million Europeans and their local supporters hastily left the country. As a result of a bloody war against the French colonial forces in 1962, Algeria became an independent socialist state.

In December 1965, the first French satellite was launched at the Hammagir cosmodrome, and in 1967 the cosmodrome closed.

The first government of independent Algeria is led by leader (TNF) Ahmed Ben Bella. In 1965, a military coup took place, Huari Boumedien, Minister of Defense and former colleague of Ben Bella, came to power, proclaiming a course to build a socialist in essence, but pragmatic in the spirit of the economic and political system, taking into account the Algerian specifics and without focus on any patterns . A one-party system is being established in the country. During this period, ties between the USSR and Algeria became stronger and expanded, originating during the war for the independence of Algeria, which was now considered one of the allies of the USSR, following the "non-capitalist path of development." The next 25 years become a period of comparative stability for Algeria.

After Boumedien’s death, a short struggle broke out between the pro-Western and left-wing factions in the ruling party, and as a result, the country (and the party in 1979) was led by a compromise candidate, Chadli Benjedid. During his reign, all the economic shortcomings of the previous president affected, and by the end of the 1980s, the country was on the verge of an economic collapse. In 1986 and 1988 there were riots caused by a deterioration in the quality of life, to curb which they had to attract an army.

In the 1980s, an ideological turn in the religious field took place, the Algerian leadership, in search of sources of economic assistance, headed for cooperation with conservative Muslim countries, investing heavily in the development of Islamic infrastructure. At the same time, the local clergy is ideologically and financially reoriented to the religious centers of the Persian Gulf countries. As a result, there is a sharp increase in fundamentalist sentiments among the clergy and religious activists. Fundamentalists demand the reorganization of society according to Sharia law, and consistently oppose the secular authorities, accusing them of moving away from Islam. In the context of the growing economic and political crisis, the Islamists made claims to power in order to build a theocratic state based entirely on Sharia and the Koran’s covenants.

 

By the end of the 1980s, the contradictions between the supporters of secular power and the Islamists escalated into a civil war, which ended in the defeat of fundamentalists.

In December 1991, after it became clear that as a result of the first round of the first multiparty elections in the country, the Islamic Salvation Front began to win, the Algerian military canceled the second round, forced President Shadley Benjedid to resign, established a military regime and banned the Islamic salvation front. The Islamists reacted to this by going underground and terror. The tactics of extremists were based both on attacks on the military-police forces and representatives of the elite, and on intimidation of the population. The apotheosis of her was the assassination of the president of the country, Muhammad Budiaf in June 1992. A large-scale civil war lasted almost a decade, and individual incidents have been observed to this day. Over the past years, the war claimed the lives of over 100 thousand people, mostly victims of significant massacres and terrorist acts of Islamic groups. The state suffered huge economic damage.

Only the tough line of the military leadership of Algeria in 1992-1999 allowed to bring down a wave of terror and forced extremists to negotiate national reconciliation. The local population in the form of self-defense units was widely involved in the fight against extremists. This hindered the actions of extremists in many territories, ensured their political isolation from society and freed up considerable forces of the army and special forces for active operations. Great importance was attached to the establishment of control over the Islamic infrastructure, the consistent removal of radical imams from mosques, as well as the suppression of external financing channels of both the armed wing of extremists and their political structures.

On April 27, 1999, the country's long-standing foreign minister, well-known politician Abdel Aziz Bouteflik, was elected president of the country.

XXI Century
Since the spring of 2001, the political situation in the country has been complicated by the crisis in Kabilia, a region with a predominantly Berber population east of the country's capital. The mass actions of the Berbers were suppressed by the gendarmerie (internal troops), who used weapons, according to official figures 60 people were killed and two thousand people were injured. Severe repression of the authorities caused massive civil disobedience and led to the creation of an informal self-government of the Berber regions - the Coordinating Council of the village committees of Kabilia, one of the requirements of which was to give the Berber language tamazig the status of a second (after Arabic) official language.

April 2004 After the second victory of Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the presidential election, a partial amnesty was announced under which the rebels were guaranteed forgiveness if they voluntarily surrender and disarm.
September 2005 At a popular referendum, the government approved the Charter for Peace and Concord project, which provides for an amnesty of former members of gangs that stop the armed struggle with the authorities and want to return to peaceful life. However, the country's largest Islamist group, the Salafist Group of Sermon and Jihad (about 1,000 militants), which joined Al-Qaeda in 2004, officially announced its refusal to participate in this project.
October 2006 The leader of the Salafist Group of Sermon and Jihad, Abu Musab Abdel Woodood, announced the start of a "long-term war against the interests of the United States and the West in the Arab Maghreb region."
September 2009 For the third time, Abdel Aziz Bouteflika was elected President of the country.