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The Étoile Nord-Africaine or ENA (French for North African Star) was an early Algerian nationalist organization founded in 1926. It was dissolved first in 1929, then reorganised in 1933 but was later finally dissolved in 1937. It can be considered a forerunner of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), who fought France during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62).
It was formed in 1926 by Nationalist politician Messali Hadj and called for an uprising against French colonial rule and total independence. It had no armed wing and attempted to organize peacefully. The party maintained links with the Parti Communiste Français (PCF, the French Communist Party) until the early 1930s, but the connection was later broken when, at the behest of the Comintern, the PCF declared Algerian national independence premature. In 1927, Messali Hadj participated in the creation of the League Against Imperialism. The reorganisation of the ENA in 1933 elected Messali Hadj President, Imache Amar Secretary General and Belkacem Radjef Treasurer. It also voted for an ambitious plan to lead Algeria to independence by peaceful means. The Étoile was dissolved by the French authorities in 1937 and Messali was imprisoned. It is considered by some the first modern Algerian political party.
In 1937, two months after its dissolution, the leaders of ENA, including Messali, founded the Parti du Peuple Algerien (PPA). This was subsequently dissolved in 1946 and was immediately followed by the creation of the Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques, which later became increasingly militant. Messali, a pacifist, distanced himself from the mainstream of this organisation when it became involved in the Algerian War of Independence started by the FLN in November 1954.
- Rachid Tlemcani, State and Revolution in Algeria, Boulder: Westview Press (1986).