Algeria: Tributes Paid to Late President Ahmed Ben Bella

Following the death of Ahmed Ben Bella, Arab netizens have remembered the man who was Algeria's first president.

Ben Bella died on April 11, 2012, after an illness. He was one of the symbols of the Algerian War of Independence and became president of Algeria in 1963. As hundreds flocked to Algiers to pay tribute to their former president, netizens remembered Ben Bella's rule.

Ahmed Ben Bella. Photo from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Mahmoud Siyoucef said:


Algiers, Friday April 13…It's raining in the city as it rains in my heart

The following video from shows the official funeral of Ahmed Ben Bella:

FreeTunis quoted Tunisia's president Moncef Marzouki who attended the funeral:

@FreeTunis: #Marzouki: L’#Algérie n'est pas la seule à avoir perdu #BenBella. Le Grand #Maghreb l'a perdu aussi, tout comme la nation arabe.

#Marzouki: Algeria is not alone in losing #BenBella. The Greater #Maghreb has also lost him, as well as the entire Arab nation.

Lebanese journalist Hisham Melhem gave credit to Ben Bella for helping to achieve Algeria's independence but criticized his legacy:

@hisham_melhem: True, Ben Bella, Nasser & other Arab ‘revolutionaries’ gained independence, but they planted the seeds of cruel autocracy.

Blogger Issandr El Amrani wrote:

One after another, the liberation-era figures of Algerian politics are dying — the question is whether their successors will ensure that the same claustrophobic political system will survive.

Palestinian blogger Hisham Shafiq Skalla paid tribute to Ben Bella [ar]:

وبن بلة الثائر غير بن بلة السلطوي وكلاهما غير بن بلة المعارض، ومهما قيل ويقال عن بن بلة ومرحلة حكمه يبقى الرجل رمز من رموز الرجال الذين ساهموا في تحرير الجزائر من ربقة الاستعمار الفرنسي
Ben Bella the revolutionary is not Ben Bella the autocrat and they are both different to Ben Bella the opposition figure. And what ever was said and will be said about Ben Bella and his rule, the man remains a symbol among those who participated in liberating Algeria from the grip of French colonialism.

However, not everyone wanted to think about Ben Bella. Journalist Leila Beratto quoted a young man speaking on Algerian national television:

@LeilaBeratto: Obsèques de #benbella (devant la tv): commentaire d'un algérien de 26 ans : “Même mort il continue de nous emmerder” #algeriensEtPolitique

Funeral of #benbella (in front of TV): A comment from a 26-year-old Algerian: “Even dead, he continues to annoy us” #algeriensEtPolitique

In the following video [ar, fr] from Algerians offer their final observations about Ahmed Ben Bella:

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Stay up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details. Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site