Comité Ré

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the body that planned the 1954 algerian insurrection and gave birth to the fln.

The Comité Révolutionnaire d'Unité et d'Action (CRUA; Revolutionary Committee of Unity and Action) was a clandestine organization that kept few formal records. The details of its origins and development have been the subject of dispute among several participants and scholars.

During the early 1950s, frustration grew within the nationalist Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques (MTLD; Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties). That frustration resulted from the failure of political participation to produce tangible results for the Algerian people and also from the political infighting within the party leadership, particularly that which pitted the Central Committee against followers of Messali alHadj. In March 1954, Mohamed Boudiaf, an activist from M'Sila, called together a group of young militants, many of whom, like himself, had been members of the revolutionary Organisation Spéciale. Other founders identified with the MTLD Central Committee. It appears that the initial goal of the CRUA was to mediate between the Messalists and the centralists and bring about the reunification of the party. By the summer, when it became clear that the MTLD was irretrievably split, a Committee of Twenty-two decided that direct action was the only solution to Algeria's predicament and named an executive committee to take concrete steps toward armed action.

Boudiaf was to be the coordinator. The committee also included a leader for each of the wilayas, or military districts into which the national territory was divided. These were Moustafa Ben Boulaid of the Aurès and Nemencha, Mourad Didouche of the northern Constantine, Rabah Bitat of the Algiers region, and Larbi Ben M'hidi of the Oran. Later a Kabylia wilaya was recognized, and its leader, Belkacem Krim, became the sixth member of the executive committee. In October, three exiled militants, Hocine Ait Ahmed, Mohamed Khider, and Ahmed Ben Bella were also named part of the executive committee. These nine men were considered the historic chiefs (chefs historiques) of the Algerian revolution. But it was the six militants inside Algeria who made the critical decisions.

At an October meeting or meetings, the exact date or dates of which are debated by the participants, the internal CRUA leadership decided to create the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN; National Liberation Front) and drew up a proclamation calling Algerians of all classes and political persuasions to join them in a war of national liberation. The insurrection broke out in the early morning hours of 1 November 1954.

see also ait ahmed, hocine; ben bella, ahmed; ben boulaid, moustafa; ben m'hidi, muhammad larbi; bitat, rabah; boudiaf, mohamed; didouche, mourad; front de libÉration nationale (fln); hadj, messali al-; khider, mohamed; krim, belkacem; mouvement pour le triomphe des libertÉs dÉmocratiques.


Horne, Alistair. A Savage War of Peace: Algeria, 19541962, revised edition. New York: Penguin, 1987.

John Ruedy