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French Algeria: the Dirty War (19541962)

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Chapter Summary

The Algerian war started in November 1954 and ended with the Evian Accords of 1962 by which Algeria was granted independence from France. Following demonstrations in Algiers against the French Socialist government and French army pressures, General De Gaulle was called back to power as head of the government in June 1958, then elected as President of the Republic in December 1958. The emergency law of 1 April 1955 was applied progressively to Algerian regions. French justice was applied differently in France and rebellious Algeria. The government refused to acknowledge that a war against France had started. During the Algerian war, both government authorities and the army denied that war crimes and torture were being committed. Early in 1955, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offered its services to the French government in order to start its traditional humanitarian activities in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Keywords: Algerian war; emergency law; French army; French government; French justice; General De Gaulle; ICRC; war crimes



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