Algiers – The last surviving member of the group that launched Algeria’s armed struggle for independence from France died on Wednesday aged 92, state media reported.
Othmane Belouizdad was one of the North African country’s famous “Group of 22”, who in June 1954 decided to wage an armed insurrection against their colonial rulers.
They launched their campaign on November 1 of that year, starting a bitter eight-year war that finally led to Algeria’s independence.
Unlike many prominent fighters, Belouizdad had stayed out of politics following independence.
At his last public appearance in May 2020, he had been hosted by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Tebboune had praised him as “a symbol of the glorious war for national liberation who sacrificed himself to do his duty… and liberate the country from the yoke of colonialism” then returned to life as a “simple citizen”.
Belouizdad’s death comes months ahead of Algeria marking six decades of independence under the Evian Accords with France on March 19, 1962.
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