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Algeria: National reconciliation fails to address needs of IDPs

29 September 2009

Some efforts have been made to revitalise agriculture in rural areas and secure the livelihoods of returning populations. The government launched the National Agri- cultural and Rural Development plan (Plan National de Développement Agri- cole et Rural or PNDAR) in 2000, to en- courage IDPs and migrants to return to their villages. The government has of- fered direct financial assistance to return- ees and programmes to repair houses, increase employment and revitalise the agricultural sector (WB, 27 March 2003, 20 December 2005, 27 June 2007). In particular, in rural areas, the government has committed to build some 475,000 new homes between 2005 and 2009 (La Tribune, 15 October 2006). However, the rebuilding programme has been repeat- edly delayed, often due to administrative constraints such as lack of capacity from local administrators, and people have been discouraged from returning to their home villages by the lack of safe drinking water, general infrastructure and health facilities there (El Watan, 8 January 2006, 17 July 2005).

1998). For the most part, EU members avoided direct involvement and ignored calls to use their influence to direct events within Algeria (ICG, 20 October 2000). The USA expressed concern about the human rights situation, while at the same time remaining committed to doing business in Algeria and supporting the government with military aid (HRW, 2000; Arabic News.Com, 28 October 2003; NYT, 10 December 2002). In the context of the “war on terror”, interna- tional attention has since focused on the risks associated with terrorist groups in the country.

Note: This is a summary of IDMC’s new internal displacement profile on Algeria. The full profile is available online here.

National mechanisms for the protection of human rights do not provide adequate redress for citizens including IDPs. The ombudsman’s office is perceived as pro- government and its annual report is not released publicly (USDoS, 2009), while limits to judicial independence hinder the enforcement of court rulings. In 2008, the government denied requests for visits from various UN human rights experts (USDoS, 2008).

The international reaction to the conflict in Algeria was generally one of cautious observation. The UN and individual states condemned the large-scale massa- cres of late 1997 and 1998 (Dammers,

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