Algeria. The contradictions between President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Prime Minister Ali Benflis around the political and economic pace of reform were sharpened in the spring. Bouteflika, who wanted to progress slowly, reformed the government on May 5 and dismissed Benflis. Ahmed Ouyahia was appointed new Prime Minister, who held the same post in 1996-98. In September, Bouteflika made a new government reform and then dismissed most of the ministers from the Benflis party FLN (Front de Libération Nationale), which is the country’s largest. In early October, the party left the government completely.
Over 100 people were killed in fighting between militant Islamists and government forces during the first nine days of January. Among those killed were 49 paratroopers who were assaulted in the Aurès Mountains by members of the GSPC (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat), an outbreak group from the militant group GIA (Groupe Islamique Armée). It was the biggest guerrilla attack since the Civil War began in 1992.
In clashes over the last two weeks of September, 150 militant Islamists and 17 government soldiers were killed.
According to Countryaah.com, Algeria Independence Day is July 5. Algerian League for Defense of Human Rights LADDH (Ligue algérienne de dfense des droits de l’homme) found in December a mass grave with the remains of 200 people who disappeared after being seized by the government-led militia in the 1990s.
French President Jacques Chirac visited Algeria March 2-4. It was the first formal state visit by a French president since Algeria’s independence in 1962. Chirac received a warm popular welcome, mainly because of his attempts to stop the US war in Iraq.
During the spring, GSPC kidnapped at least 30 European tourists traveling in the Sahara desert, including German-Swede Harald Ickler. Half of the tourists were released in May by Algerian special forces, while the rest, which had been brought to Mali, were released in August.
On March 6, 103 people were killed when a Boeing 737 from Air Algérie crashed at takeoff from the Tamanrasset airport.
About 2,200 people were killed when an earthquake shook the area around Algiers on May 21.
Area: 2,381,741 km2 (world rank: 10)
Population density: 17 per km2 (as of 2017, world rank: 34)
Capital: El Djazaïr (Algiers)
Official languages: Arabic, Tamazight
Gross domestic product: US $ 170.4 billion; Real growth: 1.7%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 3960 US$
Currency: 1 Alger. Dinar (DA) = 100 Centimes
46, 13187 Berlin
Telephone 030 437370,
Fax 030 48098716
Head of State: Abdelasis Bouteflika, Head of Government: Ahmed Ouyahia, Exterior: Abdelkader Messahel
National Day: 1.11. (Day of the 1954 Revolution)
State and form of government
Constitution of 1963
State religion: Islam
Parliament: National Assembly (Majlis asch-Sha’abi al-Watani) with 462 members, election every 5 years; The Nation (Majlis al-Umma) with 144 Member. Council (elected 96 48 appointed by the Head of State, jew. For 6 years), Part election every 3 years
direct election of the head of state every 5 years (renewable once)
Voting age 18 J.
Population: Algerians, last census 2008: 34,080,030 residents.
70% Arabs, 30% Berbers (Tamazight, Kabylen, etc.); French minority
Cities (with population): (as of 2008) El Djazaïr (Algiers) 2,364,230 inh., Wahran (Oran) 803,329, Qusantina (Constantine) 448,027, ‘Annaba (Annaba) 342,703, El Bulaïda (Blida) 331,779, Batna 289,504, Djelfa 265,833, Stif (Setif) 252,127, Sidi bal-‘abbas (Sidi bel Abbès) 210,146, Biskara (Beskra) 204,661, Tabassa (Tbessa) 194,461
Religions: 99% Muslims (Sunnis); Minority v. Christians and Jews (as of 2006)
Languages: 70% Arabic; 30% Berber languages: Tamazight, Kabyle and others; French
Workers by economic sector: Agriculture. 13%, industry 47%, business 40% (2017)
unemployment (in% of all economically active persons)
2017: 10.1%; high youth unemployment
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 5.6%
Foreign trade: import: 46.0 billion US$ (2017); Export: 35.2 billion US $ (2017)
In the coastal areas and in the Tell Atlas there is a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. There are considerable diurnal temperature fluctuations in the Schott highlands and in the desert. Precipitation decreases from the east (up to 1,000mm) to the south (up to 400mm). Here they often fall as downpours and often lead to flooding in the wadis.