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November 16, 2016
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October 29, 1999
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June 1, 1956
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Copy No. 4,4 GEOGRAPHIC INTELLIGENCE REPORT GEOGRAPHIC FEASIBILITY OF ALGERIAN PARTITION CIA/RR-GR-96 JUNE 1956 CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY elease 2000/04/17 CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 - OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND REPORTS Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP7 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 WARNING This material contains information affecting the National Defense of the United States within the meaning of the espionage laws, Title 18, USC, Sees. 793 and 794, the trans- mission or revelation of which in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law. Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000A)4PIRX4W-RDP79; D tAL i "NT G11XORAPR] INTELLIGENCE MMM G1! OGRAPNIC FF.ASIBU. ET ' OF AIiGERWT PARTITION CIA/ fft-OR-96 June 1956 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04 RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 X., CCOcluatons . . . . . 1. IL Possible Ways to Partition Alberta - An Evaluation 2 A. By Terrain and MIMte Along Ethnic Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 . By Agricultural Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . 4 L. Population . . . . . . . ? . . ? . . . . ? ? ? +3. Agriculture . . . ? ? ? e . ? ? ? f ? o ? e ? C Forestry ~y.~~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 D. ~Wai~4.Ja~ Resources o O o ? ? ? ? t ? e ? . . ? . ~99^ 20 .Minerails . . . . ? . ? . O . ? . . . . ? V . O 10 rye rte bapact of Terrorism on the Human and Natural aouree Pattern o r . ? e o . . e . ? . e Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/041,17._P_MDP79-01009A001300010002-5 GE0(S tAMC FEABIBILtTY_ CF AIMM PARLTJ :. Conclusions There is no sound basis for the partition of Algeria between the French and the native population. A=ardjngVj no recommendations for partition lines are made. Partition between the Berber-speaking and Arabic-speaking natives may be possible, but no economically viable unit would result. Therefore, no recommendations for partition between the natives are made. Although several methods of partition were examined, the pattern of human and natural resources is such that sound results could not be expected. Algeria is an agricultural country in which the explosive rate of population increase continues to outstrip all increases in agricultural Income. If the French were restricted to the cities, their land was expropriated and redistributed, and the natives were allowed to control the agricultural system, there is strong evidence that two results would f ollcstS. (1) The gap between agricultural income and population would become wider. (2) The French, whose bold on the cities is already weak, would lose control of the water supply and thereby of the cities. Although partition based an expropriation of French-owned land may have merit as a political expedient, it has no logical economic or demographic Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/0x4/17: Cl RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 basis. In any case, terrorism is now so effective that partition of what is left may be an academic question. IX. Fusible W Zs To Partition AIAMU -- An Rvaluation A. M Terrain and Climate The beat single economic area in Algeria today, the Tell, is delimited naturally on the basis of terrain and climate. This area, located between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, contains 75 percent of the people of Algeria on one-sixteenth of the land. Although the French rural population is greater here than in any other part of Algeria, natives predominate in the Tell. There is no way to partition the Tell, and any partition of Algeria that would be meaningful to the revolting native element would involve the Tell.. Conversely, any partition of Algeria that would be meaningful to the French would have to give them control of the great bidraulic projects that supply the cities with power and water and the farms with irrigation water. Because of their very nature, these projects had to be located in the mountains -- mountains which are often under or potentially subject to rebel control. To give the French the major cities and not the mountains that control the paver and water supply would be short- sighted. Rebel activity against these installations is evidence of the indivisible relationship between city and mountains in Algeria. Terrain and climate have contributed to the present administrative pattern in Algeria, particularly in separating the present dePOrl - 2 - S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 S-E-C-R-EJ2 of Bone, Constantine, Algiers, and Oran from the rest of Algeria; these departments are a part of 1etropolitan France. From the standpoint of ec 'ania geography and security, the southern limits of these departments we sound. These limits serve to separate usable land in its widest possible economic meaning from wasteland. B. Alstbiti._. Lima It is usually pointed out that the French are primarily city dvellere, so.the`gt stun is. asked, why not partition Algeria in such a manner that urban zones would be elloted to them and the rest of the -and to the natives? The chief flaw in this reasoning is that such a division would by no means guarantee to the French control over the cities. The increase in native population to the present figure of 8 million has produced a large native urban population., partly as a result of a high birthrate in the cities and partly from mig?ation to the cities. Consequently, natives would still outnumber the French in the cities. The only effective way to guarantee French control of the cities, in terms of numbers of people, would be to remove many urban natives and prevent others from entering the cities.. This would hardly eliminate the natives' reasons for agitation against the French. The major Berber areas are sufficiently large and ethnically cohesive to form viable political entities. The Berber society, with its core of tightly knit villages, seems to have survived better than the comparatively loosely it Arab society with its tendencies towards - 3 - S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 S-E-C-R-EJJ monarchical forma that are fundamentally unsuited to modern conditions. The Berber vi Ugps, an the other hand, farm a suitable foundation for a society organised along modern political lines. C. cultwural Patterns Partition by agricultural patterns is not realistic. If partition were to restrict the French to the cities and expropriate their agricultural land, the present pattern of population distribution would merely be accentuated and the income-producing ability of the agricultural system would be ruined. The rural Arab is engaged principally in the cultivation of meat and barley by primitive methods and in the raising of sheep. The care and labor that enters into the cultivation of fruit and. olive trees and into truck gardening is apparently still repugnant to him; the prohibition of vine by Islam has tended to prevent him from cultivating the grape. The Berbera, in contrast, have a more diversified agriculture, are more solidly sedentary, and form densely populated coman'nities. Berber sedentary characteristics are evidenced by the fact that regions of Berber speech and of arboriculture, particularly the cultivation of the fig and olive, have coincided since the earliest times. Though some wheat and barley is grown in these regions, the terrain is too rugged to permit any great production of cereal crops. Moreover, most Berber land is so densely populated that the basic problem, overpopulation, would remain after partition. The Kabylie region (a Berber area) -4- S-E-C -R-EST Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 S-E-C-R E-' In one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It also is the chief source of Algerian workers who emigrate to France, and entire v lags exist on the small remittances these workers are able to send back. 3x70. Patterns of Harman and Natural Resources A. Emulation Algeria has about 9.g million people, mostly Muslims. Europeans number over 1 million and are mostly French, ms4gy with a heritage of several generations in Algeria. Of the 9.5 million people, nearly 9 million are concentrated in approximately 9 percent of the area, the four departments of northern Algeria -- Bone., Constantine,. Algiers, and Oran. The annual rate of population increase for all of Algeria is high (2.8 percent), but the Muslim birth rate is twice that of the European element. Offer French control the population of Algeria has increased from 1 million to B million natives during the last century. The French in Algeria are primarily city dwellers. In the highly rural departments of Bone and Constantine, of s total of 3,425,000 peoples only 200,000 are Europeans.. One can drive for scores of miles without seeing a European, and this was true in pre-terrorist days as well as today. F r e n c h f a r m s in t h e s e d e p a r t m e n t s a n d nany otbbir ri ral areas are tiny European islands in a sea of Niislims. The French agricultural effort is therefore easily vulnerable to any hostile Muslim acts. -5- 2-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 CIAp-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 S-E-C-R-JC - The natives of Algeria aampariae two distinct 3inguictia grOXVS Berber and Arab. In gensssl, the Bea` der population is confined to the more rued mountain areas, is sedentary or sesainamedia within abarply defined limits, and still observe a customary law which, even in the most important Berber center, has never been supplanted by Koranic ! v. In contrast, the nonuz'ban Arab population genre. y inhabits the plsinEa and the high plateaus stag, at best, is loosely attached to the soil; Lame gibers still live in tents. The great majority of the Arab-speaking population is canposed of Barbara who, over the centuries, have been Arab18ed. The reverse pro?ess, the Barbarizing of Arabian people, is coaaperatively rare and has taken place oa11y on a limited scale. Apparently the Berber language is in slow regression, though its hold on the people who speak it is still tenacious; even in bilingual areas the language used in the family is Berber. Ries fact that Berber remains an unwritten language, the Influence of Isla n, the spread of ca?erce, and increased Berber migration to the cities have all eantributed toward reducing the proportion of the Berber++speaking population in relation to the Arabic-speaking population. At the same time, however, French state-sponsored schools have been widely established in Berber areas, and French has become a serious rival to Arabic as a second language. The linguistic predominance of Arabic over Berber-speaking peoples in the cities is likely to continue. Berber is not and has not been an -6- S-B-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 S-E-C-R+S-T urban language since remote antiquity; the only two urban centers where Berber is the principal language are Tizi-*mu and Bougie. All of remaining cities are Arabia-speaking, but the people speak & di.s]sct distinct from that of most of the countryside. The centers of Arab culture are so strong that the surrounding countryside ban been Arabized. Because nearly a third of the population of Algeria Is Berber- speaking, any partition of Algeria would be wino to take the Berbers into account. Even If Algeria fell completely into Arab hands, control of the Berbers would still remain a problem. The Berber-speaking popu- lation is concentrated in the eastern and central parts of the four metropolitan departments and is On at lacking in the western parts of the country. Observers have long noted the coincidence between the areas of Berber population and those of the most difficult terrain, many of thich today are rebel-infested. The areas occupied by large Berber-speaking groups in the region south of Constantine correspond fairly closely with the mountains of the Aures and the Ne meha. The concentration of Berbers known as the Kabylie, between Algiers and Djidjell., centering around Tizi-Ouzou and Bougie, corresponds with the mountains of the Djurdjura, the Bibans, and the Behors. The Berbers on the coast most of Algiers between Cherchel and Tense coincide with the highest parts of the coastal range known as the mountains of Miliaria. -7- S-Ts-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000fp /17j gl#-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 Scattered Islands of Berber speech stretching from the area south of Algiers to the Moroccan border correspond with the highest nurtions of the Mitidja Atlas and the Ouarsenis Range, as well as with pasts of the mountains of Tlemcen. Small groups of Berber-speaking peoples are also found in some of the most inhospitable regions of the Sahara Desert. B. A&riculture The agricultural wealth of Algeria is sharply limited to the north, particularly to the fertile plains and valleys near the coast where, myr of the cash crops are grown. Most of the good land is owned by the French. They almost exclusively grow the most valuable crop, wine gr+epes, as well as the best grain, fruits, and cattle -- thus producing the bulk of the agricultural income of the country. Altogether, wine, eerwa1s, fruit, and vegetable crops account for over three-fourths of the total agricultural income. Animal production supplies only one- fourth of the total agricultural income. There are over 9 million sheep and goats in Algeria, or more then 1 per native. Under French control the cultivable area of Algeria has been greatly extended, but this has been accomplished principally by drain- age and inprovement in the distribution of existing waters. Such im ayements, however, have not been able to keep pace with the explosive rate of population increase. For example, over a -year period (1950 -.8- Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 ? -E-C-R?E-T through 1953), agricultural Income increased 5 percent, but the L,oyuiation increased. 7 percent. The gap is considered es.pecially serious because of Algeria's dependence upon agriculture. Nearly one- tAU.d of Algeria's gross national income comes from agricultural production, and the most uunerous industries are those that process agricultural produce. Approximately 78 percent of the to -1 population dnds directly upon agriculture for a living. orests occupy over 5 million acres. Most of this sand is state- owned brusb.1 '1 located in the drier mountainous parts of Algeria. French reforestation efforts are often resented by the nctdc3ic Arabs because much land is taken out of grazing, use of it is controlled, or it is leased. The major forest produat is cork. 11. Water Resources Ro other resou,ce directly affects the economic well-being of Algeria as much as water. fortunately the water supply is ]. .ted,, The accompanying map illustrates some of the hard facts about the relationship between water and people in Algeria. Of the 21 cities of 10,000 or more population, only 3 are south of the 8-inch rainfall line and only 2 others are south of the 16-inch rainfall line, Of these Vii, one is on the 16-inch line, and another is only a short distance from it. With two exceptions, the existing dams are north of the 16-inch Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 S-E-C It-E- line. In general, eastern Algeria receives more raintaU than western seria, and the latter includes more irrigated areas. Denis and water spreading make possible the irrigation of nearly a quarter of a million acres; it is estimated that the water supply is sufficient to irrigate oxLy an additional 100,000 acres. E. Minerals Exploitable mineral deposits in Algeria are limited, and minerals are not being found in quantity. ) ny sectors of the alining industry axe operating at substantial losses. At bests marry years of exploration and dgvelap~maat lie ahead before there can be even a modest realization of Algeria's undeveloped resources. The most ia}pdartant mineral export is iron ore, which is found in the department of Bone. Next in importance are the two phosphate mines also in the department of B& eo Algerian production of coal and petroleum has remained relatively unimportant, and exploitation can be carried on only by virtue of heavy subsidies. The chief coal deposit is at Columb-Bed, far to the south. The chief oilfield at owed Gueterini lams sizable reserves. Any minerals discovered in the Sahara would have to be extremely valuable to overcame the excessive cost of transporting them to the coast. The transferring of possible oil areas in te.Sahara Desert of Algeria to French Wr ,'_? Africa would not change the pattern of accessi- bility and .marketing. - 10 E Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/84411,$gIA,RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 Ike ImWact of Terrorism on the Human and Natural Resource Pattern Inasmuch as terrori?t conceutxatas on those features that are of French presence, the patterns outlined above are being changed. In the economic sphere, terrorism is threatening to break down the economy of Algeria. The sabotage of the transportation system is spreading and damaging installations of a permanent nature. The mining industry Is particularly hard hit. Iroax pyrites are no longer produced in Algeria, and the industry at large has used development work, as wall as the replacement and modernization of capital equipment. Agriculture in much of the area east of Algiers is becoming virtually impossible, with roughly one-third of the farms in the department of Constantine already destroyed. Destruction figures are approaching the fantastic. For example., 35,E grape vines were out in one night at one place. The increased tempo of destruction is evidenced by the cutting of 350 orange trees in August 1955; in September 1955 the figure rose to 5,100; and in 1956, on one night alone, 6,000 orange trees Were cut. Some time ago estimates of the number of fruit trees destroyed stood at 40,000, and the umber of cattle killed or stolen amounted two 10,000. At least 100 tractors have been destroyed, as well as thousands of tons of forage and straw. The x4ost important forest industry in Algeria is cork production, -11- B Fl-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/4-RDP79-01009A001300010002-5 and this industry is in a state of liquidation. Stripping operations are impas$ible, Forrest-cork depots have been burned down, and the t rrorists have commenced to burn cork depots and menuYacturing plants r,n the por-to of Bare, Bougie, and A7g ierss The largest cuapenies are thinking of transferring all their processing to France. This would have a disastrous effect on future a ap]Loyrrent, prices, and production in the cork trades AS carious as these depredations arm to the functioning of the Algerian econcwW, they are merely a portent of more serious destruction. Tossibly the most effective wsy for the rebels to drive the bench out c.f Algeria is to damage the impressive hydraulic projects the French k+; ? e built. Such a, =pdZa would interfere with irrigation and electric power. their very nature the hydraulic projects are located in the untain$ -- the places most vulnerable to rebel attenk. Bougie, rbillipville, and Calla are regularly deprived of water whenever the terrorists out the aqueducts fran the mount.! in reservoirs. Recently .Algeria's second city, Oran, was sbc rt of water for some days following the dyna iting of a section of the 70-mile-1oamy aqueduct ffr a the ni-Ravel Ism. About a month ago, French forces a1 &i m to have E : -O;eu uu an args=zation that had pla vse 1 to blow up the Otied. Fo& a irr.,gates one of the richest farthing areas in Algeria. Before Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000 DP79-01009A001300010002-5 y be month of 1956 bad ended.. the rebels severe4 damaged the dam e: gbri,, as veil as the water ducts of its neighboring hydroelectric ?i?t. The city of biers obtain an important part of its electric-power up :y frcm hydroelectric plants in the Petite Kabylie Mo?+nntains, one of the arc-as of greatest disturbance; high-tension knee also cross the notorious Grande Kabylie B&antai ns. Work on the massive Oued )jenjen D roelectric project in the Petite Kabylie, the greatest ,roiect of its type in Algeria, is reported to be greatly handicapped cause ccntant protection is needed for all work parties. Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5 Approved For Release 2000/04/17 : CIA-RDP79-01009AO01300010002-5