Last week, we discussed Algeria’s war of independence from France in the 1950s. We will now turn our attention to another conflict in that beautiful but unfortunate country: the civil war between the government and Islamist insurgents which took place between 1990 to 1998. The civil war ended in a victory for the Algerian government, but at a terrible price. The 1990s are known to Algerians as “The Black Decade.”
Since the government was essentially of the same political party (the FLN) that had successfully fought for independence, Algeria’s FLN offers that rarest of examples in the history of modern conflict: an organization that both waged a successful insurgency, and suppressed an insurgency. It is critical that these conflicts be thoroughly understood. It is unfortunate that, for the most part, they are almost completely unknown in the West.
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