Algeria: January 17, 2004


The leader of the Islamic Front for Salvation (FIS) extended a general call for halting the bloodshed in Algeria, to start with the February 1 beginning of the Eid al-Adha holiday. This would be the first step for an peace program described as a "national people initiative" to solve the country's ongoing crisis with hard line Islamics. However, he also called for postponing the presidential elections scheduled for April (until their legitimacy and credibility could be established) and a general presidential amnesty for all victims of Algeria's 12-year civil war. Both of these suggestions will probably go over like lead balloons with the government. 

The FIS political party, banned since 1993, has called for an end to violence before and claims to not want to subject Algeria to a theocratic form of government. The FIS' armed wing is the Islamic Liberation Army (AIS), which at it's height was thought to have 4,000 men infiltrated into both eastern and western Algeria. - Adam Geibel


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