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Ahmed Ben Bella
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Ahmed Ben Bella

''' (Arabic)
Ahmed Ben Bella (English)'''
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Became President:September, 1962
Left Office:June 19, 1965
Predecessor:
Successor:Houari Boumédiènne
Date of Birth:December 25, 1916
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:

Ahmed Ben Bella (Muhammad Ahmad Bin Balla) (born December 25 1916) was the first President of Algeria, and seen by many as the Father of the Nation.

During the Second World War he served in the Free French army, and was decorated for bravery. He was one of the founding members of the Front de Libération Nationale. He was arrested by the French in 1956 and spent until 1962 in prison. While in prison he was elected a vice-premier of the Algerian provisional government.

After Algeria's independence was recognised, quickly became more popular, and thereby more powerful. In June 1962, he challenged the leadership of Premier Benyoucef Ben Khedda; this led to several disputes among his fivals in the FLN, which were quickly suppressed by Ben Bella's rapidly growing support, most notably within the armed forces. By September, Bella was in control of Algeria by all but name, and was elected as premier in a one-sided election on 20 September, and was recognised by the United States on September 29. Algeria was admitted as the 109th member of the United Nations on 8 October 1962, and afterwards, Ben Bella declared that Algeria would follow a neutral course in world politics; within a week he met with U.S. President John F. Kennedy requesting more aid for Algeria, with Fidel Castro, expressing approval of Castro's demands for the abandonment of Guantanamo and returned to Algeria requesting that France withdraw from its bases there. In November, Ben Bella's government banned the party, providing that the only party allowed to overtly function was the NLF.

Later he became Prime Minister, and was later elected President. He was deposed by Houari Boumédiènne in 1965, and put under house arrest until 1980, when he was exiled. He was allowed to return in 1990, but has remained outside politics.

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