General information: Algeria was a French colony for more than a century and achieved independence in 1962. The unexpected success of the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the first round of voting (December 1991) led to the intervention of the army, the defeat of the FIS and the cancellation of the elections. The ongoing struggle of the FIS with the secular state began, which, nevertheless, allowed pro-government and moderate religious parties to participate in the elections. The armed wing of the FIS, the Islamic Salvation Army, announced its self-dissolution in January 2000; many armed rebels surrendered to the government, hoping to take advantage of the amnesty announced to speed up the process of national reconciliation. However, in some places fighting is still going on. Other problems are massive unemployment and the need to diversify the economy. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Algeria History.
Location: North Africa, Mediterranean coast, between Morocco and Tunisia.
Geographic coordinates: 28° 00′ N. latitude, 3° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 2,381,740 km2; land surface area: 2,381,740 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly less than 3.5 times the size of the state of Texas.
Land borders: total length: 6,343 km; with neighboring states: with Libya 982 km, with Mali 1,376 km, with Mauritania 463 km, with Morocco 1,559 km, with Nigeria 956 km, with Tunisia 965 km, with Western Sahara 42 km.
Coastline: 998 km.
Maritime claims: zone of exclusive right to fish: 32-52 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: arid to semi-arid; mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers along the coast; a more arid climate with cold winters and hot summers on high plateaus; sirocco is a hot, dusty and/or sandy wind that often blows in summer.
Terrain: mostly high plateau and desert; there are mountains; a narrow coastal plain interrupted by rocky areas.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: lake Schott-Melrir -40 m.; highest point: Mount Tahat 3,003 m.
Natural resources: crude oil, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc.
Land use: arable land: 3%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 13%; forests and plantations: 2%; others: 82% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 5,550 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: powerful earthquakes that occur in mountainous areas; sat down.
Current environmental issues: soil erosion due to overgrazing and other unsustainable agricultural activities; desertification; pollution of rivers and coastal waters as a result of the discharge of sewage, oil processing wastes and other industrial wastes; in particular the pollution of the Mediterranean by oil washed away by soil erosion and fertilizers; insufficient supply of drinking water.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Waste, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban.
Geography Note: The second largest country in Africa (after Sudan).
Population: 31,736,053 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 34.21% (male 5,528,755; female 5,328,083); 15 to 64 years old: 61.72% (male 9,901,319; female 9,687,449); over 65: 4.07% (male 594,973; female 695,474) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.71% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 22.76 newborns / 1000 people.
Mortality: 5.22 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -0.45 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 0.86 male/female; for the general population: 1.02 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 40.56 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 69.95 years; men: 68.6 years; women: 71.34 years (2001 est.);
General birth rate: 2.72 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.07% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Algerian; adjective: Algerian.
Ethnic groups: Arabs, including Berbers 99%; Europeans less than 1%.
Believers: Muslims (Sunni Islam is the state religion) 99%, Christians and Jews 1%.
Languages): Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 61.6%; men: 73.9%; women: 49% (1995 est.). State Name:
Conventional long form: Democratic People’s Republic of Algeria;
conventional short form: Algiers; local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza’iri-yah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha’biyah; local short form: Al Jaza’ir.
State structure: republic.
Administrative division: 48 provinces (wi-laya): Adrar, Ain Defpa, Ain Temushent, Algeria, Annaba, Batna, Bejaia, Bechar, Biskra, Blida, Borji Bou Arreriji, Bouira, Boumerdes, Ghardaia, Guelma, Djelfa, Jijep, Laguat, Kenshela, Iplizi, Konstantin, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mo-staganem, Msila, Naama, Oran, Relizan, Sayda, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk-Ahras, Te-bessa, Ouargla, Tamangasset, Tiaret, Tlemken, Chlef, Tizi-Uzu, Tipaza, Tinduf, Tissemsilt, Um-el-Buaghi, El-Bayad, El-Tarf, El-Oued.
Independence: from July 5, 1962 (until 1962 – a colony of France).
National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, November 1 (since 1954).
Constitution: adopted November 19, 1976, entered into force November 22, 1976; revised November 3, 1988, February 23, 1989, and November 28, 1996; note: the referendum approving the amendments of 28 November 1996 was held on 7 December
Legal system: socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts is possible by a special Constitutional Council, consisting of various public officials, including several judges of the Supreme Court; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999);
head of the government: Prime Minister Ali BENFLIS (since 26 August 2000);
Government: council of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held 15 April 1999 (next to be held April 2004); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLICA elected president; percentage of votes 70%; note – six out of seven candidates withdrew their candidacy in protest against electoral fraud.
Legislature: bicameral Parliament, consisting of the National People’s Assembly (Al-Majlis Ech-Chaabi Al-Watani) (380 members; members are elected by popular vote for a four-year term) and the People’s Council (144 members; one-third of the members are appointed by the president, two-thirds are elected by indirect vote; members serve a six-year term; constitutionally, half of the chamber is renewed every three years); elections: for National People’s Assembly last held 5 June 1997 (next to be held 20 May 2002); elections for two-thirds of the Council of the Peoples last took place on 25 December 1997 (next to be held in 2003); election results: for the National People’s Assembly – distribution of votes by party – RND 40.8%, MSP 18.2%, FLN 16.8%, Revival Movement 8.9%, FFS 5%, RCD 5%, RT 1, 1%, Progressive Republican Party 0.8%, Union for Democracy and Freedom 0.3%, Social Liberal Party 0.3%, independent parties 2.8%; seat distribution by party – RND 155, MSP 69, FLN 64, Renaissance Movement 34, FFS 19, RCD 19, RT 4, Progressive Republican Party 3, Union for Democracy and Freedom 1, Social Liberal Party 1, Independents 11; in the Council of Peoples – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by parties – RND 79, FLN 12, FFS 4, MSP 1 (the remaining 48 members are appointed by the president; there is no data on their party affiliation). in the Council of Peoples – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by party – RND 79, FLN 12, FFS 4, MSP 1 (the remaining 48 members are appointed by the president; there is no data on their party affiliation). in the Council of Peoples – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by parties – RND 79, FLN 12, FFS 4, MSP 1 (the remaining 48 members are appointed by the president; there is no data on their party affiliation).
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic National Rally (RND) (Ahmed OUYAHIA, Chairman); Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) (banned April 1992) (Ali BELHADJ, Dr. Abassi MADANI (imprisoned), Rabeh KEBIR (exiled in Germany)] Peace Society Movement (MSP) (Mahfoud NAH-NAH, Chairman) National Liberation Front (FLN) (Boualem BENHAMOUDA, General Secretary) Progressive Republican Party (Khadir DRISS) RCD (Said SAADI, General Secretary); Al Nahda (Lahbib ADAMI); Social Liberal Party (Ahmed KHELIL); Front Socialist Forces (FFS) (Hocine Ait AHMED, general secretary, in exile in Switzerland]); Union for Democracy and Freedom (Mouley BOUKHALAFA); Workers’ Party (PT) (Louisa HANOUN); note: new legislation prohibiting religious political parties was introduced in March 1997.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer).
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Idriss JAZAIRY; office: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 265-2800; fax:  (202) 667-2174.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Janet A. SANDERSON; embassy: 4 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-lbrahimi, Algiers; mailing address: W. R. Box 549, Alger-Gare, 16000 Algiers; phone:  (2) 69-11-86, 69-12-55, 69-18-54, 69-38-75; fax:  (2) 69-39-79.
Description of the flag: two equal vertical stripes of green (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star inside a red crescent in the center of the flag; the crescent, star and green are the traditional symbols of Islam (the state religion).