General Country Information

The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria became independent in 1962 after a bitter struggle with its former colonizer France that claimed more than a million lives according to official Algerian figures (more conservative figures put the death toll at 350-400,000).

In 1991, conflict broke out again after elections, which the Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win, were cancelled.

The brutal civil war claimed between 150,000 and 200,000 lives.

It ended a decade later thanks largely to a new law giving amnesty to most guerillas.

The current president is Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was elected in 1999 and reelected in 2004.

Algeria has a population of 33,1 million, of which 99 percent is Sunni Muslim,  with 12 percent of the population belonging to the Berber ethnic group. A small minority adheres to the Ibadi branch of Islam.

Algeria’s literacy rate is around 70 percent .

More general information is available at BBC Country Profile. See also information at Wikipedia in both English and Arabic.

Official information can be found at the official website of the president of Algeria in Arabic and English, and the official website of parliament in Arabic, French, and English.