Algeria: September 21, 1999


Only a few hundred Islamic fundamentalists have turned themselves in to take advantage of the amnesty approved by the voters on September 16. That vote saw 85 percent of the eligible voters cast a ballot, and 99 percent voted for the amnesty, The problem may be that there is no amnesty for those who committed "blood crimes" (murder or mutilation) or rape. Those that have committed these crimes are most likely fearsome enough to keep many of those eligible for amnesty from seeking it. There have already been incidents of  militants with blood on their hands killing their less enthusiastic brethren. Apparently the hard core will require more than an amnesty to root them out. But the leaders of some of the Islamic political groups are behind the amnesty. The AIS has given the government a list of 7,000 members they want amnestied. But the hard line GIA and GSPC, with 5,000-7,000 members, have refused the amnesty. Some of their members will quit, but the bloodshed will continue Terrorists have killed over 250 since August 1, when the referendum vote was announced.


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