Algeria is a large country with a fascinating past and a troubled
present. The nation was devastated by years of fighting between government
forces and Islamic extremists. The unrest that began in
1991 left tens of thousands dead and forced many others to flee their
homes. Fighting has also broken out between the country's Arab and
Berber populations. In addition, although this large North African
nation has great resources, including a large share of the world's oil
and natural gas reserves, today its people are quite poor by Western
standards.In recent years the violence has slowed, and the Algerian government
has attempted to improve the lives of its people. However, it
remains to be seen whether the country will have a peaceful and productive
future, or whether the internal divisions within Algeria will
ultimately fragment the nation beyond repair.
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