Chadli Bendjedid
(Algerian, ?)
Chadli Bendjedid, a prominent figure in the Algerian independence movement and early president, was born the son of a landholder in Annaba region. He was a member of the Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques before he joined the war for independence and the Front Libération Nationale (FLN). He obtained the rank of battalion commander by 1960 and was subsequently arrested by the French and remained in prison until the struggle was over. As a regional military commander, Bendjedid helped monitor the withdrawal of French troops after independence was granted. He supported army chief-of-staff Houari Boumedienne in the coup against President Ahmed Ben Bella and served in the new Revolutionary Council. He was appointed Co-ordinator of the Armed Forces, similar to chief-of-staff, in 1978 shortly before he was picked to succeed Boumedienne following the President's death. Bendjedid was considered a fair leader and it was thought he could heal divisions within the FLN. He served for three terms. Islamic opposition restricted Bendjedid's reform of the state-controlled economy and the success of his social initiatives. Attempting to appease Islamic groups he signed a National Charter affirming Algeria's Arab and Socialist identity. He was viewed as a moderate by Arab leaders but his use of the army to crush protest, notably in the riots of October 1988, damaged his reputation for liberalism. Popular outrage following this massacre forced concessions and a number of banned parties, such as the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), were legalised. Bendjedid was criticised for surrendering his support for the Polisario guerrillas in the Western Sahara in their dispute with Morocco. As popular support for the FIS grew Bendjedid resigned from the FLN in 1991 and was soon deposed and placed under house arrest. http://people.africadatabase.org/people/profiles/profilesforperson2109.html
Name:Chadli Bendjedid
Dates:?
Nationality:Algerian
Sex:No data
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