Abdelaziz Bouteflika: A true hero of Algeria

Arif Qureshi

A journey of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika since independence

When France occupied Algeria in 1830 it did so with the firm belief that Algeria will remain as integral part of the French state. France was keen to fully annex Algeria because it was a gateway to sub-Saharan Africa. More than a century of occupation discouraged anyone from even thinking that Algeria would ever be independent again. However, all that changed after 124 years later on 1 November 1954, Algerians stood against France occupation. The National Liberation Front, known by its French acronym (FLN), led the struggle for independence.

After uncounted sacrifices, Algeria secured independence on 5 July 1962 and attention turned to building the country. Today, after almost six decades of independence, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is a very different country from what it was on the eve of its independence.

The present President of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika has a vital and historic role in reconstruction and reorganizing Algeria. He started his struggle along with his nation against the French occupation at the age of around 17, accompanying with the Army of National Liberation which was a military branch of the National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1956.

Right form the day of independence Abdelaziz Bouteflika served his nation at national and international level in different capacities and portfolios. But his real journey starts form 1999 when he was elected as the president of People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, since then he did not look back and led his nation through thick and thin.

Today Algeria has achieved significant levels in the economic, social and cultural sectors. However, it is important to note that the development effort has been affected by terrorist violence during the 90s that Algeria had fought alone.

Taking advantage of the policy of Civil Concord on July 2001 and the adoption of the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation adopted by referendum on September 2005, Algeria has reconciled with itself and found its stability.

After that period, various development plans were launched. The country has built its infrastructure: millions of housing units and jobs, hospitals, factories dams, universities (millions of students), road networks especially highway est-west, and railway. Currently, there is a remarkable improvement in social, health education, construction and cultural sectors. Today, Algeria is witnessing financial and economic growth. Algeria has reached prematurely the majority of the millennium goods adopted in the UN summit 2000 and is seeing before 2015 for this distinction by the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies.

Apart from this, important political reforms have been undertaken to consolidate the rule of law, independence of justice, freedom of expression and equal opportunities between man and woman.

In foreign policy, Algeria recorded its position in relation to the various international issues on the basis of the doctrine that has drawn its liberation struggle which allowed it to restore its full sovereignty. Thanks to its wealth energetic and human resources as well as its privileged position in the south of Mediterranean flame, Algeria has a great influence at the regional organizations to which it belongs (African Union, League of Arab States, Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of Islamic Cooperation etc…).

The writer is editor of diplomatic news magazine, “The Fortress” he can be reached at arifqoreshi@gmail.com

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