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Algerian Civil War /
Black Spring


In Algeria, popular uprising among the Berbers of Kabylia in 2001.
The Black Spring saw numerous small and large demonstrations, in many cases, demonstrators and police or security forces clashed. The number of dead from the actions, have been set to 126, but there figures are uncertain.
The demands of the demonstrators were related to Kabyle and Berber identity, a protest against the Arab government of Algiers. Central was the demand for local administration, the withdrawal of the gendarmerie and the call for making Tamazight Berber an official language.
These demands were eventually met, but several of lesser importance were not met. Still, the loss of control in the region would have long time effects in terms of stability.

History
2001 First half of April: A young Kabyle activist, Guermah Massinissa, arrested in Beni Douala, and dies while in custody.
— Violent clashes between young Kabyles and security forces in several villages.
April 30: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announces that a commission would be set down to investigate the events. By this time, more than 60 protesters had been killed, more than 600 wounded.
Early May: Quiet demonstration in Algiers with between 10,000 and 30,000, arranged by the Arouch movement.
Late May: Demonstration in Algiers with around 300,000, though the organizers claim that 600,000 participated. The demonstration was organized by the Berber party, FFS, Front of Socialist Forces.
June: Demonstration calling for the withdrawal of the Algerian gendarmerie from Kabylia, draws 500,000, making it the largest demonstration ever of Muslim independent Algeria. The demonstration was organized by CADC, Coordination de Aarchs, Dairas et Communes.
End of June: The riots spreads to the Aurès region, to the areas of Annaba and Biskra. By this time, about 100 had been killed.
July: The investigation report, Issad, concludes that the gendarmerie had provoked many clashes and used unnecessary violence against civilians. There had been no foreign influence, which many had alleged.
August 20: Demonstration of about 100,000 near Ifri.
October: Bouteflika declares that Tamazight, the Berber dialect of Kabylia, would be designated a national language.
2002 January: The government introduces local councils in Kabylia.
February 12: General strike in Kabylia




By Tore Kjeilen