Ahmed Ben Bella: "I spent 24 and a half years in prison"

April 14th, 2012

Silvia Cattori

Ahmed Ben Bella

The first president of independent Algeria (1963-1965) Ahmed Ben Bella passed away on April 11th, 2012 at the age of 96. This interview was granted in Geneva on April 16, 2006.

Ahmed Ben Bella is one of the great figures of Arab nationalism. He was one of the nine members of the Committee of Algerian Revolutionaries that gave birth to the National Liberation Front (NLF). Arrested by the French occupiers in 1952, he managed to escape. Once again arrested in 1956, along with seven colleagues, he was detained in the la Santé prison until 1962. After the signing of the Evian Accord, he became the first elected president of independent Algeria. On the domestic front, he initiated a Socialist policy characterised by a vast program of Agrarian reform.

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