Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 07:01 GMT

Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2009 - Algeria

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 17 May 2010
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2009 - Algeria, 17 May 2010, available at: [accessed 30 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Quick facts
Number of IDPsUndetermined
Percentage of total populationUndetermined
Start of current displacement situation1992
Peak number of IDPs (Year)1,500,000 (2002)
New displacementUndetermined
Causes of displacementInternal armed conflict, human rights violations
Human development index104

An unknown number of people – estimates range between 500,000 and 1.5 million – have been displaced in Algeria since 1992 due to ongoing conflict between insurgent Islamist groups and the government. In particular, large-scale massacres of civilians between 1996 and 1998 by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) forced many Algerians to flee affected areas. Media sources, including the newspaper El Watan, suggested there were 500,000 IDPs in 2004.

Security has improved considerably in recent years, but the group known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was still active in 2009. While AQIM had previously been active in the north and in the regions of Aurés and Jijel, in 2009 it was also active in the south, on the Saharan borders with Mali, Niger, and Mauritania.

The President began a third presidential term in 2009 after modifying the constitution to allow for re-election. The government has consistently reported that there is no internal displacement in Algeria, and limited access to displacement-affected areas makes reliable figures unavailable. Algeria was not among the countries which signed the Kampala Convention.

Government figures on urban growth rates show that the expansion of cities has slowed over time, and would appear to corroborate the statement that few IDPs or migrants are still arriving in cities. However, the government does not systematically release full indicators, and its figures do not take into account the many people living in slums around cities without legal residence. Such informal settlements have grown significantly in Algiers, Blida, Médéa, Chlef, Tiaret, Sidi Bel Abbes, Relizane and Oran.

It is unlikely that a significant number of IDPs achieved durable solutions by 2009 given the magnitude of the displacement situation. The continuation of the state of emergency since 1992 remains an issue of concern.

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