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This article is taken from PN Review 227, Volume 42 Number 3, January - February 2016.

The Sons of Hate André Naffis-Sahely
Algeria is the oldest concentration camp in the world. Arguably, its inhabitants haven’t felt truly free since 1829, a year before the French began their brutal occupation – marking the first time a Western power had invaded the region since the Crusades – which would last until 1962, at which point the country passed into the hands of a military junta, most of whose members had once served in the French colonial army. Many of those individuals are still in power today, and nothing, it seems, has managed to push them off their impregnable perch. As of March 2015 – four years and three months since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, unleashing waves of unrest that toppled six dictators (including Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak), ignited two civil wars and sparked major protests in ten countries – Algeria’s FLN1 government looks more secure than ever. Now headed by Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was ‘elected’ in 1999, but who disappeared from public view after suffering a stroke in 2013, the FLN maintains a tight grip, largely abetted by the fact that every form of uprising since the ‘Arab Spring’ has only heaped untold miseries on the once hopeful citizens of those oppressed countries. Although the Algerian government projects an image of stability – having successfully convinced its people that it is the only bulwark standing in the way of the sort of chaos that has recently plunged Libya and Syria into anarchy – Algerians often erect barricades and burn tires in their desperate attempts to draw ...

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