19 March 1962

The Algerian War of Independence ends.

The Secret Army Organization was founded in 1961 as a response to General De Gaulle’s speech on Algeria’s right to self determination. It was formed by a group of pied noirs that called themselves “counter-terrorists” and had carried out attacks against the F.L.N since early in the war. By acts of sabotage and assassination in France and French Algerian territories, the O.A.S attempted to prevent Algerian Independence. On September 1961 the O.A.S attempted to assassinate De Gaulle but failed.

Despite the O.A.S attempts to stall and prevent Independence, Evian peace talks were held on March 7th between the F.L.N’s provisional government and De Gualle. The Evian Agreement was signed on March 18, 1962, and a cease fire was called on the 19th . It was also agreed Algeria would be able to vote for its future Independence on 1st of July.

Now desperate on saving “French Algeria”, the O.A.S reacted more violently than ever. The three months between the cease fire and the day of Independence the O.A.S unleashed a series of attacks. Their hope was that these attacks would to force the F.L.N to abandon cease fire therefore revoking any agreement between the F.L.N and the French government. In April they raided Muslim hospitals in Algiers, killing ten patients in their beds and wounding seven others. On the 3rd of May they filled a truck with explosives and killed 62 Muslims and wounded 110. On May 10th thirty Muslim women were killed in the streets of Oran and Algiers. Other actions included blowing up part of the library of the University of Algiers and the assassination of a famous Berber writer. Despite the O.A.S’s violent provocations, the F.L.N did not retaliate and kept the cease fire agreement. In June 1962 a cease fire was agreed between the O.A.S and the F.L.N.

19 March 1962

The Algerian War of Independence ends.

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Algerian War, also called Algerian War of Independence, war for Algerian independence from France. The movement for independence began during World War I and gained momentum after French promises of greater self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II . In 1954 the National Liberation Front began a guerrilla war against France and sought diplomatic recognition at the UN to establish a sovereign Algerian state. Although Algerian fighters operated in the countryside—particularly along the country’s borders—the most serious fighting took place in and around Algiers, where FLN fighters launched a series of violent urban attacks that came to be known as the Battle of Algiers. French forces managed to regain control but only through brutal measures, and the ferocity of the fighting sapped the political will of the French to continue the conflict. In 1959 Charles de Gaulle declared that the Algerians had the right to determine their own future. Despite terrorist acts by French Algerians opposed to independence and an attempted coup in France by elements of the French army, an agreement was signed in 1962, and Algeria became independent.

Upon independence, in 1962, 900,000 European-Algerians fled to France, in fear of the FLN’s revenge, within a few months. The French government was totally unprepared for the vast number of refugees, which caused turmoil in France. The majority of Algerian Muslims who had worked for the French were disarmed and left behind as the treaty between French and Algerian authorities declared that no actions could be taken against them. However, the Harkis in particular, having served as auxiliaries with the French army, were regarded as traitors by the FLN and between 50,000 and 150,000 Harkis and family members were murdered by the FLN or by lynch-mobs, often after being abducted and tortured. About 91,000 managed to flee to France, some with help from their French officers acting against orders, and as of 2016 they and their descendants form a significant part of the Algerian-French population.