Omar Agha

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Omar Agha was the Dey of the Regency of Algiers from April 1815 to September 1817, after the assassination of his predecessor Mohamed Kharnadji the 7th of April 1815, who had been in office for only 17 days.

He launched a war against Tunis, and lead the Attacks of Barbary privateers on American ships. An expedition of the US Navy led by Commodore Stephen Decatur in command of a squadron of nine ships, was conducted in 1815 against the Regency of Algiers. The episode is known as the Second Barbary War. The operation forced Dey Omar to sign a treaty ending attacks of piracy, a treaty that he denounced shortly thereafter.

The Congress of Vienna, which addressed the problem of Christian slaves from Barbary piracy, charged the United Kingdom to negotiate with the Dey of Algiers and the Beys of Tunis and Tripoli.

Although the latter two were agreeable, it was not the same for Omar Agha. It would take the 9-hour Bombardment of Algiers (1816) on 27 August 1816, by an Anglo-Dutch naval force commanded by British Admiral Lord Exmouth, to compel the Dey to abolish slavery. But despite the signing of a treaty and the release of 3,000 European slaves, this is of little effect as the Congress of Aachen addresses again the same problem in 1818.

Omar was strangled on September 8, 1817 by the janissaries, following its repeated defeats and domestic problems. His successor was Ali ben Ahmed.

Preceded by
Mohamed Kharnadji
Dey of the Regency
of Algiers

Succeeded by
Ali ben Ahmed


  • Raïs Hamidou: Le dernier corsaire barbaresque d'Alger [1] Par Paul Desprès
  • La piraterie barbaresque en Méditerranée: XVI-XIXe siècle [2] Par Roland Courtinat