Ahmed Ben Bella
Ahmed Ben Bella (1916-2012) was an Algerian political leader who served as the first president of Algeria. He was a key leader of the Algerian War of Independence and the National Liberation Front. In 1954, he co-founded the militant National Liberation Army, founded the revolutionary Council of the Algerian Revolution, and helped to lead the fight against French rule in Algeria. In 1958, Ben Bella was jailed by the French, but escaped and eventually returned to Algeria after the end of the conflict. In 1962, he won the presidential election and became the first president of Algeria. A vocal advocate of socialism, Ben Bella set about producing a one-party state and nationalizing industry. In 1965, an attempted coup was launched against him and the government was replaced by a military junta. Ben Bella was then placed under house arrest for several years before being removed from power officially in 1979. Following his removal from office, Ben Bella went into exile and later died on April 11, 2012 in Algiers, Algeria.
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