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Introduction: After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an...

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People: Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country's total land mass. Forty-five percent of the population is urban, and urbanization continues, despite government efforts to discourage migration to the cities. About 1.5 million nomads and semi-settled Bedouin still live in the Saharan area.

Nearly all Algerians are Muslim, ...

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International Relations: Algeria is active internationally, taking a leading role on developing world issues and acting as a champion for independence movements. Algeria has also been active in the UN - it was elected to the Security Council for 2004-5 - as well as being a prominent member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the African Union (AU) and the Arab League. Algeria sits on the steering committee of the New Partnership for Africa's Development Initiative (NEPAD) and participates in the Peer Review Mechanism.

Algeria signed an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) in April 2002, under which Algeria undertook to open its ...

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The cave paintings found at Tassili-n-Ajjer, north of Tamanrasset, and at other locations depict vibrant and vivid scenes of everyday life in the central Maghrib between about 8000 B.C. and 4000 B.C. They were executed by a hunting people in the Capsian period of the Neolithic age who lived in a savanna region teeming with giant buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus, animals that no ...

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Area Handbook Series
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