2000s in Algeria
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Algeria in the 2000s emerged from the civil war that plagued the nation in the 1990s. President Bouteflika's agenda focused initially on restoring security and stability to the country. Following his inauguration, he proposed an official amnesty for those who fought against the government during the 1990s unless they had engaged in "blood crimes", such as rape or murder. This "Civil Concord" policy was widely approved in a nationwide referendum in September 2000. FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, dissolved itself in January 2000; government officials estimate that 85% of those fighting the regime during the 1990s have accepted the amnesty offer and have been reintegrated into Algerian society. Bouteflika also has launched national commissions to study education and judicial reform, as well as restructuring of the state bureaucracy. His government has set ambitious targets for economic reform and attracting foreign investment.
Three years into Bouteflika's mandate, the security situation in Algeria has improved markedly. However, some residual fighting continues; terrorism has not been totally eliminated, and terrorist incidents still occur, particularly in remote or isolated areas of the country. An estimated 100-120 Algerians are killed monthly, down from a high of 1,200 or more in the mid-1990s. In 2001, Berber activists in the Kabylie region of the country, reacting to the death of a youth in gendarme custody, unleashed a resistance campaign against what they saw as government repression. Strikes and demonstrations in the Kabylie region have become commonplace as a result and some have spread to the capital. Chief among Berber demands is recognition of Amazigh (Berber) as a national language, restitution for death of Kabylies killed or wounded in demonstrations, and some type of autonomy for the region. Representatives of major Kabylie factions are currently in discussions with the government on this matter.
In November 2001, devastating floods hit Algeria, killing more than 800 people, mostly in Algiers. The floods caused an estimated $350 million in damages.
The Presidential elections in 2004 on April 8 resulted in the re-election of the incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika with 85 percent of the vote.
Other concerns include large-scale unemployment and the need to diversify the petroleum-based economy.
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