December 1991. Front Islamique du Salut (FiS) wins the first round of the general elections
January 1992. Coup d’etat. President Chadli Benjedid is forced to resign; the Haut Conseil de Sécurité (HCS), a body made up almost exclusively of military personnel, cancels the second round of elections and creates the Haut Conseil de État (HCE), directed by Mohamed Boudiaf.
February 1992. The HCE proclaims a state of emergency February 1993.
The state of emergency is extended indefinitely.
The estimated death toll in a year of civil conflict is 15,000 in January 1994. General Liamine Zéroual is appointed head of state by the HCE.
1994 Fa la sua apparizione il Groupement Islamique Armée (GiA).
November 1995. Zéroual wins the presidential elections in the first round with 60% of the votes.
November 1996. The constitutional reform is approved by referendum, with 85% of the votes, which centralises the powers in the figure of the President of the Republic and bans the religious and regionalist parties.
September 1997. The Armée Islamique du Salut (AiS), armed wing of the FiS and group opposed to the GiA, announces a truce starting from 1 October.
October 1997. The Rassemblement National Démocratique (RND) of Zéroual obtains 55% of the seats in the municipal assemblies. The repression increases.
September 1998. Zéroual announces his resignation
April 1999. Abdelaziz Boutefl ika wins the presidential elections.
September 1999. The law on the ‘Civil Concorde’ is approved by referendum with 98% of the votes.
The strategic relationship between Algeria and the European Union
Like Morocco, Algeria is also a major strategic player for the European Union. The relevance of this relationship (created in 1969) is given by the consolidated relationships in the energy and commercial sector – between 2002 and 2012 the bilateral trade it has more than doubled – and by the Association Agreement, signed in 2002 but entered into force in 2005. The European Union is Algeria’s main trading partner and absorbs almost half of Algerian international trade. Algiers, on the other hand, occupies the twelfth and twentieth position in imports and exports with Brussels. The North African country also represents the fourteenth trading partner and the fifth among the largest energy suppliers in the EU. From 2011 onwards, bilateral relations have sharply intensified following the ‘Arab Springs’ and the conflict in Mali and this has allowed for a strengthening of political relations. Bilateral cooperation was therefore also aimed at socio-economic reforms and the fight against corruption. The European Commission has funded three assistance programs, worth a total of around 60 million euros, to modernize public administration, for rural development and agriculture, and for environmental protection, sustainable development and the fight against climate change. The EU also supports Algerian civil society, by virtue of its fundamental contribution to the country’s democratic processes, and looks forward to a stronger role for Algeria in the Maghreb and Sahara-Sahel region. In this regard, Brussels considers Algiers a fundamental partner in the fight against al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and jihadist terrorism and, more generally, in the fight against illegal immigration. Algeria is both a country of origin and of transit for migrants heading to Europe,
Sonatrach: cross and delight
Sonatrach is the largest state company specializing in hydrocarbons and one of the world’s leading companies in the sector.
The company, whose revenues account for about 40% of the country’s total GDP, controls 80% of all national oil and gas production. In recent years, the company has experienced an important economic development that has allowed it to diversify its activities, thus covering all aspects of production: exploration, extraction, transport and refining. The company has also promoted important investments in the petrochemical sector, in the production of fertilizers and in the desalination of sea water. Sonatrach, however, is experiencing a particular political and economic moment by virtue of a scandal dating back to 2009, linked to corruption, which has eliminated its leadership and has also had an impact on the government.
The scandal erupted when the secret services started an investigation against Mohamed Meziane, the company’s CEO at the time, for a rigged tender for the Sidi M’Hamed site.
The return of the terrorist threat
Despite the government’s efforts to counter terrorism, the security situation in Algeria remains extremely precarious, particularly in the desert hinterland and border areas, where the action of armed groups is most incisive. For some years now, the country has witnessed a resumption of the jihadist phenomenon. The escalation is favored not only by the multiple internal tensions but also by the regional political instability and the proliferation of illegal activities (above all, drug trafficking and human trafficking). For Algeria democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.org.
For the first time, in 2013 and 2014 Algerian forces were deployed not only at the borders, but also in operations outside the territory, as in the case of Tunisia. The goal is to block the encroachments of armed groups directed both towards the African hinterland (Mali and Niger), as well as towards the Sinai and Syria. In this way, Algeria, which has always been reluctant to collaborate with military implications, has opened a new path with neighboring countries. It is with this in mind that the governments of Algeria, Tunisia and Libya have signed a memorandum of understanding to guard and secure their respective borders and curb the entry and proliferation of armed groups more or less linked to international jihadism. At the same time,
Finally, another front that causes concern is that of Libya: according to some rumors Algeria and Egypt could form a regional coalition to fight the jihadist forces present there, which also directly threaten the two North African giants.