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Algeria

Yearbook 2015

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.

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