A brutal conflict
The Algerian war of independence (1954-62) was a colonial war marked by the brutality of both sides and their use of torture and terror against both military and civilian populations.
France was determined to keep control of its north African colony, which was home to thousands of French expatriates. The Algerian Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) wanted full independence.
In 1962, President Charles de Gaulle signed the Evian accords granting Algeria independence, but the killing went on. Algerians who had worked for the French, known as Harkis, were regarded as traitors and many were killed by the FLN or lynch mobs. Around 800,000 European-Algerians, known as Pieds-Noirs (black feet), fled to France.
Both countries still dispute the war’s death toll.