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After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets, and fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence between 1992-98 resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent. He was reelected to a second term in 2004 and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009 after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qa'ida to form al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions, ending the state's monopoly on broadcast media, increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies, and expanding the role of judges in administering elections. Political protest activity in the country remained low in 2011, but small, sometimes violent socioeconomic demonstrations by disparate groups continued to be a common occurrence. Parliamentary elections held in May 2012 resulted in an increase of seats for presidentially-aligned parties. Parliament in 2013 is expected to revise the constitution.


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Airports World Ranking: 41
142 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 60
Over 3,047 m 12
2,438 to 3,047 m 28
1,524 to 2,437 m 15
914 to 1,523 m 4
Under 914 m 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 82
2,438 to 3,047 m 2
1,524 to 2,437 m 18
914 to 1,523 m 39
Under 914 m 23 (2012)

3 (2012)

Condensate 2,600 km; gas 16,360 km; liquid petroleum gas 3,447 km; oil 7,611 km; refined products 144 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 44
Total 3,973 km
Standard gauge
2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)
Narrow gauge 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 39
Total 111,261 km
81,732 km (includes 645 km of expressways)
Unpaved 29,529 km (2004)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 78
Total 38
By type
Bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 11, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 3
Foreign-owned 15 (UK, 15) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda


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  Algeria (Algiers):

  GPS points from Algeria (Algiers)

Ras Ali Bir Ahmed Wilaya D' Oum El Bouaghi

Adarh Mouline Wilaya De Tamanghasset

Arich Ben Hamou Wilaya De Saida

Ksar Aouach Algeria (general)

Sidi Abd El Kader Moun Kaila Wilaya De Mostaganem

Zemlet Oum Ed Dzloo Algeria (general)

Tasakfout Wilaya D' Illizi

Mechta Ras Oulmene Wilaya D' Oum El Bouaghi
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