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Today the French forces fighting in Algeria include the regular army with more than 500,000 men,1 about two-thirds of the French air force and half of its navy. In addition to all of the professional soldiers at its disposal, France is employing the police force, special security units (C.R.S.) and civilian militia. 2 It has further instituted a special draft in France and is recalling reserve soldiers to active duty.

The Algerian conflict is admitted to be costing France more than three million dollars a day.

The Algerian Army of National Liberation (A.L.N.) which started in 1954 as a force of 3,000 men

grew to a strength of 130,000 by 1960.

1This includes most of the French divisions consigned for N. A. T. 0. 2Following the uprising of European settlers on January 24, 1960, the civilian militia (territorial units) were dissolved. However, as reservists in the French army, the members of the territorial units were immediately incorporated in the various units of the French army in Al. geria.

“The Algerian Army is now an efficient, disciplined force, with a unified command and strategy."

See Lee McCardell, The Baltimore Sun, September 7, 1957. “Any doubts remaining in my mind as to whether the Algerian soldiers belonged to an organized, disciplined army were resolved on the afternoon when the troops marched to attack the French.”

See Michael James, The New York Times, September 24, 1958. "To cover the campaign this reporter was attached to the Third Battalion of the East Base Command .. .. At dawn yesterday, the 600-man battalion, marching in a disciplined formation of three columns, left the mountains of Tunisia for the mountains of Algeria . . . the Marines could do no better."

See The New Statesman, June 6, 1959 A pictorial report on the Alge. rian war carried the following introduction : “These exclusive photographs, taken by a young American who recently spent five months with the National Liberation Army (A. L. N.) illustrate the extent to which the Algerians are now a well-equipped and disciplined fighting force.”

According to official French figures, 1 by November 1, 1959, a total of 13,000 French soldiers were killed in the Algerian conflict, 2 and 145,000 Algerians. 3 In effect, Algerian casualties are estimated at more than one hundred a day, and have reached a total of well over 600,000.

The conflict has made particularly heavy claims upon the civilian population 4: well over a million and a half Algerians have become “displaced persons”, forcibly resettled in Centers organized by the French army; 100,000 Algerians are held in military internment centers, transit and interrogation centers, detention camps and prisons; and more than 300,000 Algerian men, women and children live as refugees in neighboring Morocco and Tunisia.

1The New York Times, February 28, 1960. 2 Military experts consider that in conventional warfare operations, a conservative estimate would be seven men wounded or missing for each soldier killed. On this basis, we can estimate the global total of French casualities at 100,000 as a minimum. Moreover, the figures shown are quoted from official French communiques, and are undoubtedly underestimated. 3Statement by General de Gaulle on November 10, 1959. N. B. On February 27, 1960, French military headquarters in Algiers announced that military communiques, presenting the overall casualities from military operations throughout Algeria, would no longer be made public. (See Le Monde, February 28-29, 1960). 4A category of victims of the Algerian war neglected in the official French estimations are those Algerian civilians who have been killed during French military operations, or as a result of French repression. However, it is admitted that no estimation of the cost in human lives of the five year war in Algeria would be complete without mention of this.

See The New York Times, May 21, 1959. Fifteen French prisoners (nine soldiers and six civilians) who were released by the F. L. N. on May 20, 1959 “... gave evidence of having been deeply impressed by the 'high morale' and 'iron' discipline of their captors.” The nine sol

indicated that the rebel forces apparently had an efficient organization taking orders from a central headquarters and acting rarely on solely local initiative."


In September 1955, at the request of fourteen Asian and African Delegations, the Algerian question was first included on the agenda of the Tenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The item was thereafter included on the agenda of subsequent sessions and discussed by the United Nations General Assembly despite protests by the French Government that this violated Article 27 of the United Nations Charter which prohibits the United Nations from interfering in “internal” matters of Member States. The Thirteenth Session of the United Nations in Autumn 1958 testified to the significant increase of international understanding of the realities of the Algerian Revolution. The resolution recommended by the First Committee of the United Nations, which came within one vote of the 2/3rds majority required for final passage in the General Assembly, specified a technique for resolving the conflict and clearly implied that the F.L.N., as the representative of the Algerian people, should be the other party to negotiations which it urged should take place between the parties to the conflict. In its contents, the resolution (1) recognized "the right of the Algerian people to independence"; (2) expressed deep concern "with the continuance of the war in Algeria”; (3) considered "that the present situation in Algeria constitutes a threat to international peace and security”; and (4) urged “negotiations between the two parties concerned with a view to reaching a solution in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations".

At the Fourteenth Session of the United Nations in December, 1959, a draft resolution was introduced at the plenary meeting, stating that the General Assembly “recognizes the right of the Algerian people to self-determination” and “urges the holding of pourparlers with a view to arriving at a peaceful solution on the basis of the right to self-determination, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations".

In evidence of the overwhelming opinion of the Member States of the United Nations, every paragraph of this resolution received the endorsement of the General Assembly during the paragraph-by-paragraph, roll-call vote. Each paragraph received far more than the two-thirds majority required for

adoption. But, in an event without precedent in the fourteen years of the United Nations' existence, the very same resolution, when voted upon as a whole several minutes later, failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority. This was made possible by a sudden switch in the vote of some countries in a desperate maneuver to prevent passage of any resolution.

On September 19, 1958, simultaneously in Algeria, Cairo, Tunis and Rabat, in conformity with a decision of the National Council of the Algerian Revolution, the Executive Committee of Coordination of the Algerian Front of National Liberation announced the creation of a Provisional Government representing the people of Algeria. 1

As of October 1, 1959, seventeen nations 2 had recognized the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic.

la This is the formal announcement made by the Premier, Mr. Ferhat Abbas:

“In the name of the Algerian people, by delegation of the powers
of the National Council of the Algerian Revolution (Resolution of
August 28, 1957), the Executive Committee of Coordination has
decided upon the formation of a Provisional Government of the
Algerian Republic.
“The composition of the Government is as follows:

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The Government of France does not recognize the existence of a war in Algeria. It maintains that Algeria is legally

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Minister of Armament
and Supply

Mahmoud Cherif
Minister of

Abdel Hafid Boussouf
Minister of North African

Abdel Hamid Mehri
Minister of Economy and

Ahmed Francis
Minister of Information M'hammed Yazid
Minister of Social Affairs Ben Youssef Benkhedda
Minister of Cultural

• Tewfik el-Madani

“The Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic is re-
ponsible to the National Council of the Algerian Revolution.
“It assumes its functions today, Friday, September 19, 1958, at
1:00 a. m. Algerian time.”

16 The National Council of the Algerian Revolution (C. N. R. A.) met in regular session in Tripoli, Libya from December 16, 1959 to January 18, 1960. The communique released on January 19, 1960 at the close of this meeting announced that:

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