Mostefa Ben-Boulaïd (5 February 1917 – 22 March 1956) was an Algerian Berber (Chaoui) revolutionary leader.

Last night we saw an excellent film by Ahmed Rachedi on Mostefa Ben Boulaid.

This film portrays how the  French government should shut up and not critisize  Turkey.

 

Benboulaïd was born in ArrisBatna Province in eastern Algeria. In 1939, he fulfilled mandatory military service and was mobilized to fight against the Nazis during the Second World War. During the Italian campaign in 1944, he was distinguished for his courage, which earned him the Military Medal and the Croix de guerre.

Demobilized with the rank of adjutant, he returned to his home town, and joined the Algerian People’s Party (PPP). He played an important role in the Special Organization (OS), in which he had an intense political and military involvement. He began to acquire weapons by purchasing with his own money and contributed to the accommodation of militants pursued by the French authorities. He personally supervised the distribution of arms to these militants. In 1948, he participated in the elections of the Assembly of Algeria and obtained alandslide victory. However, the results were falsified by the French authorities.

He was also one of the founders of the Revolutionary Committee of Unity and Action (CRUA). He presided over the historical meeting of 22–25 June 1954, which aimed to establish unity over the question of the outbreak of the armed struggle. He was responsible for Area I (Aurès), that engaged heavily armed French and paid a heavy price during the Algerian war. He was a member of the Committee of the Six “insurgent leaders”.

In 1955, he traveled to Libya to acquire arms for his soldiers. He participated in both battles of Ifri el blah and Ahmar Khaddou near Batna.

In a photo taken after his arrest in Tunisia (11 February 1955) between two unwitting French soldiers, Benboulaïd managed to convey a message summoning unity with his two thumbs enjoined (See picture below.) He was sentenced to death by the court of Constantine, then imprisoned at the Coudiat Aty Central Prison of Constantine. He escaped in November 1955 with other prisoners, (including Tahar Zbiri, one of the famed initiators of the failed coup attempt in 1967 against then President Houari Boumediene) with the complicity of a prison ward,Djaffer Chérif, from his hometown. During the escape, one of his comrades was injured, recaptured, and subsequently executed bydecapitation.

Benboulaïd died on 22 March 1956 with Abdelhamid Amrani — one of his close associates — in the blast following the detonation of a radiobomb parachuted by the French army.

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