The commemoration of the 59th anniversary of Algeria’s independence is an opportunity to recall the historical context of this epic event for which the Algerian people, yearning for freedom, sacrificed their souls and treasures during 130 years of struggle under the yoke of colonialism.
For some eyewitnesses in Ghardaïa, among those who commemorated the first anniversary of the independence celebration on July 5, 1962, this date constitutes an official date that erases the date of the surrender of the capital on July 5, 1830, that is, the beginning of the occupation.
According to the Mujahid, Hadj Mohamed Djabrit, who held several positions in the ranks of the National Liberation Army in the regions of Ghardaïa and El Bayadh, scenes of joy erupted, especially in Ghardaïa, as soon as the ceasefire was announced on the 19th of March and intensified until the end of July 1962.
For his part, Hadj Abdelouahab Bakli, one of the fighters from the vanguard and former Minister of Tourism, recalled the scenes of joy that affected all segments of society of all kinds in the region of Ghardaïa, stressing that “this region served as a refuge and hideout for many fighters and mujahidine during the extended period of the announcement of the ceasefire to the date of the colonizer’s exit,” noting that this area has always been the subject of threats from the secret organization that was chasing especially the merchants who were practicing their profession in the north of the country.
Many merchants from Ghardaïa and Metlili fled towards Ghardaia to avoid the threats of the organization, which accused them of providing the FLN with funds and the coastal cities.
Between the ceasefire and the declaration of independence, exiles were summoned to Tunisia and Morocco, as well as students sent by the front to be trained abroad so that everyone could participate in building a free Algeria, according to Hadj Bakli, who was studying in Italy and a member of the General Union of Algerian Students.
Hadj Amer Benkhlifa, called Belladjal, a former prisoner of the occupation army who was released on April 18, 1962 in Serkadji, said that the phase of the ceasefire was the most difficult for Algerians because of the violent acts and terrorist activities committed by the secret army organization.
Belladjal, who was appointed as the coordinator of the implementation of the cease-fire agreement, recounts in Metlili the scenes of joy that marked the first celebration of the country’s independence, and were interspersed with pictures of families reunited after seven years of separation.
The celebration of Independence Day is an opportunity to highlight the pride and devotion of the Algerian people towards their homeland, as well as to recall the great sacrifices made to liberate this country and strengthen its unity.