Algeria / Politics /
hawāriyy abū midyan
Original name: Mohamed Ben Brahim Boukharouba. The latter would in correct Arabic, be: abu kharruba
(1932-1978) President of Algeria 1965-1978.
Boumedienne was by all means a dictator, yet his regime was one in which the country was stable and had continuous economic growth. Under his predecessor, President Ahmed Ben Bella, Algeria had suffered from strife between factions.
He focused much on industrialization of the country, also a change from Ben Balla, and his focus on the agriculture. Still, the Algeria upon his death was still a country in which a majority lived in poverty, contrasted by a wealthy elite.
Algeria was brought into a state of strict governmental control, and local and provincial assemblies became weak and ruled within the limited framework of the central authorities.
Algeria received large revenues from petroleum extraction, and Boumedienne was free to choose a politics of non-alliance, a mediating position between Communist east and Capitalist west, in which he maintained good relations with both. Algeria's international influence was strong his period, and Algeria became a leading nation among developing countries. He ended Algeria's special position with France, when the ownership of the oil industry was transferred from French interests to the Algerian state.
1932 August 23: Officially, this is his birthday, in the village Beni Addi, or Clauzel, near Guelma. It has been suggested that he actually was born in 1925 or 1927. His original name was (short) Mohamed Boukharouba.
Boumedienne began his education at the Islamic Institute in Constantine.
1952: Escapes serving in the French army by moving to Cairo, Egypt, where he studies at al-Azhar University.
1955: Joins a guerilla unit in western Algeria, where he took the name Houari Boumedienne, derived from patron saints of Oran (Sidi El Houari) and Tlemcen (Sidi Boumedienne).
1957: Becomes colonel in the FLN, and becomes new revolutionary chief of Oran Province.
1960: Becomes chief of staff of the army outside Algeria, working much to raise an army in Morocco and Tunisia.
1962 June 30: Army troops under the leadership of Boumedienne and Ben Bella marches on Algiers, following that the provisional government of Algeria had sacked Boumedienne from his position. Boumedienne and Ben Bella crush their opponents.
September 28: Becomes Defense Minister.
1963 May 17: Appointed Vice President.
1965 June 19: Stages a military coup against President Ben Bella, and takes the position as president. Not having great popular support, he at first ruled through a revolutionary council of 26 members.
1967 December: Unsuccessful coup on his regime. He reacts by taking even more direct control over the politics of Algeria, and crushes most of the opposition.
1968: Becomes chairman of the Organization of African Unity. His term would last a year.
1971: Imposes state control of the oil industry, which until then had been 2/3 owned by French interests.
1974: In a UN speech, Boumedienne declares: "One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory."
1975: Attempting to take control over part of Spanish Sahara, as the Spanish move out. Morocco, making a claim on the area, threatens with war. Algeria chooses to support Polisario, the liberation army of the locals of former Spanish Sahara (see Western Sahara), permitting them to establish headquarters in Tindouf.
1976: Issues a National Charter and a new constitution.
December 10: Is re-elected president of Algiers.
1978 November 22: With President Boumedienne gone into a coma, rule over Algeria is transferred to the Defense Ministry, by which Chadly Benjedid and Abdullah Belhouchet get effective control.
December 27: Dies in Algiers of a rare blood disease. He would be succeeded by Chadly Benjedid, though with Rabah Bitat served as transitory president for 45 days.