Independence Day in Algeria Date in the current year: July 5, 2024

Independence Day in Algeria Independence Day of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is celebrated on July 5. It commemorates the independence of Algeria from France in 1962.

Located in the Maghreb region of North Africa, Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the largest Arab country in the world. The indigenous inhabitants of Algeria are Berbers, but the country has been conquered and ruled by many empires and dynasties since ancient times. During the ancient period, for example, the Berber kingdoms were occupied by the Carthaginians, the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes, and other powers.

In the early 8th century, the territory of the present-day Algeria was conquered by Muslim Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate. After its fall, numerous local dynasties emerged. In the early 16th century, Spain took control of part of the Algiers coast, and another part of the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

The French began to colonize Algeria in the second quarter of the 19th century. French troops invaded and captured Algiers in June 1830, and soon began to treat Algeria as an integral part of France. Some scholars refer to France’s conquest of Algeria as a genocide because French forces engaged in a scorched-earth policy during their pacification of Algeria, killing hundreds of thousands of people.

Following the conquest, Algeria became home for numerous French settlers. Colonial authorities confiscated communal land from indigenous people and devoid the Muslim population of economic and political status in the colonial system. Naturally, this led to much resentment among the Muslims towards European settlers and later also their descendants born in Algeria.

Tensions between the Muslim population and Pieds-Noirs (people of European ancestry) eventually led to the Algerian War of Independence. On November 1, 1954, guerrillas of the National Liberation Front (Front de libération nationale) launched a series of attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Algeria in what is now known as Toussaint Rouge (Red All-Saints’ Day). In France, the conflict led to the fall of the Fourth Republic and its replacement by the Fifth Republic.

In 1960, the United Nations issued a resolution recognizing Algeria’s right to independence. French president Charles de Gaulle agreed to negotiations with the National Liberation Front. As a result, France and the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic signed the Évian Accords that ended the war in March 1962. Algeria was declared an independent country on July 3, but the Algerian government officially recognized its independence on July 5, 1962, the 132nd anniversary of the French invasion.

Algeria Independence Day is a public holiday marked with the President’s address to the nation, a flag hoisting ceremony, parades, concerts, singing of the national anthem and patriotic songs, wearing the national color of green, and other festive events and activities, especially in the capital city of Algiers. Unfortunately, in recent years, the holiday has been marred by terrorist attacks targeting civilian population.

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