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Ferhat Abbas


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(b. 24 Oct. 1899, d. 24 Dec. 1985).

Algerian nationalist A student of chemistry, he founded a Muslim students' association in 1924. Abbas fought in the French army from 1939, but in 1942 produced a Manifesto which called for Algerian autonomy from France. He joined Ben Bella's Front de Libération Nationale in 1956, and after the outbreak of the Algerian War of Independence founded the Algerian government-in-exile in Tunis (1958). Upon Algerian independence he became president of the National Constituent Assembly (1962–3) and provisional head of state. As the leader of the moderate nationalists, Abbas soon fell out of favour with Ben Bella. He was exiled in 1963, but was allowed to return shortly before his death.

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