Feb 3 (Reuters) - Algeria’s state of emergency, in force for the past 19 years, will be lifted in the very near future, official media quoted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as saying on Thursday. [ID:nLDE71228E]
Here is a timeline of the former French colony since a state of emergency was declared:
1991 - The Islamist party Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) wins the first round of the country’s first multi-party elections.
1992 - Second round of elections cancelled. Army takes power and imposes state of emergency.
— President Mohamed Boudiaf is assassinated after six months.
— Attacks on security forces mark start of uprising by Islamic Salvation Army (AIS), the armed wing of the FIS. 1995 - Army-backed President Lamine Zeroual wins Algeria’s first multi-candidate presidential poll. Legal Islamist party leader Mahfoud Nahnah comes second with third of the votes.
1996 - Start of a regular series of attacks on villages setting a pattern of violence in which thousands are killed.
1997 - First general election since scrapped 1992 poll takes place. National Democratic Rally party, grouping Zeroual’s supporters, comes first, nine opposition parties and independents win other seats.
April 1999 - Six of seven presidential candidates pull out of presidential election, citing fraud, but the election goes ahead. Street protests break out after former Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose candidacy is backed by the army, is declared the winner.
July 1999 - Bouteflika grants amnesty to thousands of Muslim militant prisoners.
2000 - Attacks on civilians and security forces continue, and are thought to be the work of small groups still opposed to the amnesties.
— Violence is estimated to have claimed over 200,000 lives in Algeria since 1992.
April 2004 - Bouteflika is re-elected president with 83.5 percent of the vote, though opposition groups cry fraud.
June 2004 - The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), Algeria’s leading Islamic militant group which has ties to al Qaeda, declares war on foreign nationals and companies. Sept. 2005 - Algerians vote overwhelmingly for peace and for offering partial amnesty to hundreds of Islamic militants.
April 2009 - Bouteflika wins a third term.
Jan. 2011 - Two people die in rioting and protests provoked by a jump in food prices. The government announces cuts in sugar and cooking oil prices by 41 percent.
Feb. 2011 - Bouteflika announces Algeria's state of emergency is to be lifted. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ )
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit