North Africa A Prelude to Civil War?

To turn back the fundamentalist tide, Algeria's army derails legislative elections and sets up a tense standoff

On the day Algeria should have been holding the concluding round of parliamentary elections, proving that it could move peacefully from one-party socialist rule to a pluralist state, the country's military was putting the finishing touches on a bloodless coup d'etat. Last Thursday, just five days after the army forced the resignation of President Chadli Bendjedid, provoking the dissolution of parliament and cancellation of the elections that had promised to hand Muslim fundamentalists a legislative majority, Mohammed Boudiaf was sworn in as head of a military-backed, five-member Council of State. Boudiaf has splendid credentials -- he is nonpartisan and a hero...

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