Algeria profile

A chronology of key events:

1962 - Algeria gains independence from France.

Independence

Algerian independence celebrations, 1962
  • Some 250,000 were killed in eight-year independence war
  • 1954: National Liberation Front launches revolt against French rule
  • 1962: Referendum in France backs independence accord
  • 3 July 1962: Algeria becomes independent

1963 - Ahmed Ben Bella elected as first president.

1965 - Col Houari Boumedienne overthrows Ben Bella, pledges to end corruption.

1976 - Boumedienne introduces a new constitution which confirms commitment to socialism and role of the National Liberation Front (FLN) as the sole political party. Islam is recognised as state religion.

1976 December - Boumedienne is elected president and is instrumental in launching a programme of rapid industrialisation.

1978 - Boumedienne dies and is replaced by Col Chadli Bendjedid, as the compromise candidate of the military establishment.

1986 - Rising inflation and unemployment, exacerbated by the collapse of oil and gas prices lead to a wave of strikes and violent demonstrations.

Ban on parties lifted

1988 - Serious rioting against economic conditions.

1989 - The National People's Assembly revokes the ban on new political parties and adopts a new electoral law allowing opposition parties to contest future elections.

1989 - Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) founded and over 20 new parties licensed.

1990 - The FIS wins 55 per cent of the vote in local elections.

Leader: Ahmed Ben Bella

Ahmed Ben Bella, Algiers, 1964
  • 1954: Led newly-formed National Liberation Front
  • 1957-62: Interned in France
  • 1962-3: Became Algeria's first premier, then president
  • 1965: Ousted in military coup; detained until 1979

1991 - Government announces parliamentary elections in June 1991 and plans changes to electoral system including restrictions on campaigning in mosques. FIS reacts by calling general strike. State of siege declared, elections postponed. FIS leaders Abassi Madani and Ali Belhadj arrested and jailed.

1991 December - In the first round of general elections the FIS wins 188 seats outright, and seems virtually certain to obtain an absolute majority in the second round.

Military takes over

1992 4 January - The National People's Assembly is dissolved by presidential decree and on 11 January President Chadli, apparently under pressure from the military leadership, resigns. A five-member Higher State Council, chaired by Mohamed Boudiaf, takes over.

Street gatherings banned, violent clashes break out on 8 and 9 February between FIS supporters and security forces. A state of emergency is declared, the FIS is ordered to disband and all 411 FIS-controlled local and regional authorities are dissolved.

Boudiaf assassinated

1992 29 June - Boudiaf assassinated by a member of his bodyguard with alleged Islamist links. Violence increases and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) emerges as the main group behind these operations.

1994 - Liamine Zeroual, a retired army colonel, is appointed chairman of the Higher State Council.

1995 - Zeroual wins a five-year term as president of the republic with a comfortable majority.

1996 - Proposed constitutional changes approved in a referendum by over 85 per cent of voters.

1997 - Parliamentary elections won by the newly-created Democratic National Rally, followed by the moderate Islamic party, Movement of Society for Peace.

Militants ignore concord

1998 - President Zeroual announces his intention to cut short his term and hold early presidential elections.

1999 - Former foreign minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika elected as president after all opposition candidates withdraw from race, saying they had received inadequate guarantees of fair and transparent elections.

Algeria's 'dirty war'

Algerian villagers bury victims of massacre blamed on Islamic militants, 1996
  • Sparked by dissolution of assembly in 1992
  • Islamic militants waged a decade-long campaign of violence
  • Rights groups say up to 150,000 people were killed
  • Official report says security forces responsible for 6,000 civilian disappearances

1999 - Referendum approves Bouteflika's law on civil concord, the result of long and largely secret negotiations with the armed wing of the FIS, the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS). Thousands of members of the AIS and other armed groups are pardoned.

2000 - Attacks on civilians and security forces continue, and are thought to be the work of small groups still opposed to the civil concord. Violence is estimated to have claimed over 100,000 lives in Algeria since 1992.

2001 April/May - Scores of demonstrators are killed in violent clashes between security forces and Berber protesters in the mainly Berber region of Kabylie following the death of a teenager in police custody.

2001 May - The mainly Berber party, the Rally for Culture and Democracy, withdraws from the government in protest against the authorities' handling of riots in Kabylie.

Berber concessions

2001 October - Government agrees to give the Berber language official status, as part of a package of concessions.

2001 November - Several hundred people are killed as floods hit Algiers.

2002 March - President Bouteflika says the Berber language, Tamazight, is to be recognised as a national language.

Berber protests, 2001 Scores of people were killed during Berber protests in Kabylie in 2001

2002 June - Prime Minister Ali Benflis's National Liberation Front (FLN) wins general elections marred by violence and a low turnout. They are boycotted as a sham by four parties - two of which represent Berbers.

2003 21 May - More than 2,000 people are killed and thousands are injured by a powerful earthquake in the north. The worst-hit areas are east of Algiers.

2003 June - Leader of the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) Abassi Madani and his deputy Ali Belhadj are freed after serving 12-year sentences.

2004 April - President Bouteflika is re-elected to a second term in a landslide poll victory.

2005 January - Authorities announce the arrest of rebel Armed Islamic Group (GIA) head Nourredine Boudiafi and the killing of his deputy and declare the group to be virtually dismantled.

Government makes deal with Berber leaders, promising more investment in Kabylie region and greater recognition for Tamazight language.

2005 March - Government-commissioned report says security forces were responsible for the disappearances of more than 6,000 citizens during the 1990s civil conflict.

Amnesty backed

2005 September - Reconciliation referendum: Voters back government plans to amnesty many of those involved in post-1992 killings.

2005 November - Opposition parties keep their majority in local elections in the mainly-Berber Kabylie region, held as part of a reconciliation process.

2006 March - Six-month amnesty begins, under which fugitive militants who surrender will be pardoned, except for the most serious of crimes. The authorities free a first batch of jailed Islamic militants.

2006 May - Algeria is to pay back all of its $8bn debt to the Paris Club group of rich creditor nations, in a move seen as reflecting its economic recovery.

2006 September - Leader of the banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) Rabah Kebir returns from self-imposed exile and urges rebels still fighting the state to disarm.

2006 December - Roadside bomb hits a bus carrying staff of a US oil firm, killing one man. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) claims responsibility and shortly afterwards calls for attacks against French nationals.

Algiers attacks

2007 January - Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat renames itself the al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb.

2007 February - Seven bombs go off almost simultaneously east of Algiers, killing six.

2007 March-April - Army steps up offensive against Islamist militants to stamp out a surge in attacks.

2007 March - Three Algerians and a Russian are killed in a roadside attack on a bus carrying workers for a Russian gas pipeline construction company.

2007 April - 33 people are killed and more than 200 are injured in two bomb blasts in Algiers, one of them near the prime minister's office. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.

2007 May - Parliamentary elections: dozens are killed in the run-up, in a wave of fighting between the military and armed groups. Pro-government parties retain their absolute majority in parliament.

2007 July - A suicide bomber targets a military barracks near Bouira, killing at least nine people.

2007 September - At least 50 people are killed in a series of bombings. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for the attacks.

Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri urges north Africa's Muslims to ''cleanse'' their land of Spaniards and French.

2007 December - Double car bombing in Algiers hits a UN building and a bus full of students, killing dozens of people.

2008 June - Four Christian converts from Islam receive suspended jail sentences for worshipping illegally.

President Bouteflika brings back twice former premier Ahmed Ouyahia as new prime minister, replacing Abdelaziz Belkhadem.

2008 August - About 60 people are killed in bombings in towns east of Algiers. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.

Bouteflika's third term

2008 November - Parliament approves constitutional changes allowing President Bouteflika to run for a third term.

2009 April - President Bouteflika wins third term at the polls.

2009 July - Nigeria, Niger and Algeria sign an agreement to build a $13bn pipeline to take Nigerian gas across the Sahara to the Mediterranean.

2010 April - Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger set up joint command to tackle threat of terrorism.

2011 January - Major protests over food prices and unemployment, with two people being killed in clashes with security forces. The government orders cuts to the price of basic foodstuffs. Inconclusive protests continue into 2012.

2011 February - President Abdelaziz Bouteflika lifts 19-year-old state of emergency - a key demand of anti-government protesters.

2011 April - President Bouteflika sets up a committee tasked with suggesting constitutional changes aimed at "reinforcing democracy".

2011 August - Suicide attack on a military academy kills 18. A local al-Qaeda group claims responsibility.

2011 September - President Bouteflika ends state monopoly over radio and TV.

Gas plant siege

Algerian gas plant where siege took place

Dozens of foreign hostages were killed when Islamists besieged a gas complex

2011 October - Africa's second metro opens in Algiers.

2012 May - Parliamentary poll: Ruling FLN wins 220 out of 463 seats, followed by its ally the National Democratic Rally with 68 seats. Islamist alliance comes third with 48 seats. Some opposition MPs allege FLN fraud.

2012 September - President Bouteflika appoints water minister and key ally Abdelmalek Sellal as prime minister, ending post-election uncertainty.

2012 October - The army kills al-Qaeda's deputy leader in Algeria, Boualem Bekai, alias Khaled al-Mig, in an ambush near Tizi Ouzou in the mountainous Kabylie region.

2012 November - Security alert levels raised over planned foreign intervention against Islamists in neighbouring Mali.

Anti-Bouteflika demonstrators in Algeria in 2014 President Bouteflika's 2014 re-election bid spawned a protest movement called Barakat, meaning "Enough"

2012 December - French President Francois Hollande acknowledges suffering caused by France's colonisation of Algeria but stops short of an apology.

2013 January - Dozens of foreign hostages are killed by Islamist militants during a four-day siege at a remote gas complex. Algerian special forces storm the site.

2013 April - President Bouteflika suffers a stroke and spends three months in France being treated.

2014 April - Bouteflika gains another term as president in elections condemned by the opposition as flawed.

2014 September - Islamists behead French tourist Herve Gourdel after demanding that France end its support for the campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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