Algeria. During the year demonstrations were held against
drilling for shale gas in southern Algeria. The methods of
extracting the gas have been criticized for polluting the
environment, especially the groundwater. Algeria has been
extracting natural gas since the 1960s and is one of the
largest exporters to Europe.
In May, 22 jihadists were killed in Bouira east of
Algiers in what has been described as one of the largest
military operations in the country in recent years. The dead
were among the soldiers of the Caliphate, a radical al-Qaeda
outbreak group, which was behind the notable kidnapping and
murder of a French tourist last year. The Ministry of
Defense reported that hundreds of militant Islamists had
been killed or arrested in the first half of 2015. Algerian
terrorist leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who was the brain
behind the deadly attack on a gas plant in Algeria two years
earlier, was killed in Libya in June.
In the same month, several people and companies were
convicted of corruption in connection with the construction
of the 120-kilometer highway that runs across the country
from the border with Morocco in the west to Tunisia in the
east. Several ministers were also accused of involvement in
the corruption revolution. According to
COUNTRYAAH, construction of the highway
started as early as 2006, but has been delayed and become
more than twice as expensive as it was initially thought.
In June, violent clashes between Arabs and Berbers
occurred in Gharda´a, a world heritage city that has been
affected by conflicts between the two groups since 2013,
including access to housing and land. In the violence, 22
people were killed.
In the spring, new stricter legislation on violence
against women was adopted in the home. The new law received
criticism from several directions - Islamists believed it
was a threat to the nuclear family, while the human rights
organization Amnesty International considered it at risk of
becoming toothless as it gave room to pardon perpetrators.
Algeria is considered a strong patriarchal society where
violence against women is a major societal problem.
At the end of November, at least 18 people died in a fire
that occurred in a refugee camp in Ouargla, about 80 miles
south of Algiers.