This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Franco-Algerian War’s cease-fire and French politicians have been paying homage to those who took part in Algeria’s fight for independence.The war was a turning point in military history — creating entire schools of thought for guerrilla warfare and counter-insurgency tactics. Torture and attacks on civilians became tactics for both the French government and the rebels.
For France, the loss of what was considered a part of France and not just a colony was hard to take. It eventually brought down the Fourth government and brought General de Gaulle to power, and both France and Algeria have struggled in the 50 years since to get past the legacy of the brutal war, which is thought by some to have killed over a million people.
November 1, 1954: French defeats in Vietnam emboldened Algeria's Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) to launches armed revolts to gain national independence.
In retaliation, between 1,200 and 12,000 Muslims were killed by French troops and pied-noir (European settlers) vigilante committees.
September 30, 1956: Three women planted bombs in public venues in the capital, Algiers. The Battle of Algiers had begun.
Certain indigenous Algerians (so-called 'Harkis') also fought on the side of the French, receiving threats to their lives. Despite this, Harkis who fled to France after the war were kept in internment camps.
May 1958: A mob of pieds-noirs and some army officials, angered by the French government's failure to suppress the revolution, convinced the French parliament to once again make Charles de Gaulle the leader of France.
March 1962: After two rounds of negotiations in Evian, France, the French government declared a cease-fire.
March–June 1962: The Organisation de l'Armée Secrète (OAS), a pied-noir group, carried out terrorist attacks against Muslim and French civilians, but ultimately signed a truce with the FLN.
July 1, 1962: In a referendum held to approve the Evian Agreements, six million Algerians voted for independence, or 'Algérie algérienne'.
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