The Revolutionary Period and Independence
Emerging from more than 132 years of French colonial domination and nearly eight years of the War of Independence, Algeria was officially declared independent of France on July 3, 1962, but recognizes July 5 as its Independence Day. Exhausted from so many years of warfare and internally divided into fiercely competitive factions, the military/political leadership of the victorious FLN quickly deteriorated into incohesive groups vying for control of the new state.
The three major contenders for political predominance were the provisional government established by the FLN in 1958, the military officials, and the wilaya commands (administrative district councils established by the military in the preindependence period). The confrontation was characterized by fierce personal and ethnic loyalties as well as ideology and surfaced even before independence was officially declared. A May 1962 meeting in Tripoli of FLN leaders closed with Ahmed Ben Bella assuming control of the party and what would become the nation of Algeria under a tentative alliance with Colonel Houari Boumediene.
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