In 1965, the government of Ahmed Ben Bella was overthrown by Houri Bourmedienne in a military coup. This was due to;


  • Ben Bella became a dictator and could not be to related any more. He hated all positive criticism directed towards his government. He became final in all state decisions, the opposition was steadily suppressed and voices of the majority were shunned. This caused the overthrow of Ben Bella.
  • Transformation of Algeria into a one party system caused the over throw of Ben Bella. He only allowed FLN political space; emerging political parties were suppressed in their infancy.
  • Failure to fulfill promises made at mass rallies caused the downfall of Ben Bella. He became a great speaker with brilliant promises and fulfilled none of them e.g. promised rapid development, employment, land redistribution etc but 1965 nothing had come to fulfillment 1965.
  • Insufficiency of social-economic facilities especially in Algiers caused the coup. Power supply, water etc became very scarce and life for the average Algerian proved hard.
  • Low levels of education and experience of state workers caused the overthrow of Ben Bella. He was accused for failing to rapidly improve education facilities and taking Algerians for further training to fight inefficiency in the economy.

  • Unemployment which led to the brain drain led to the overthrow of Ben Bella, 70,000 elites moved out of Algeria to seek for employment especially France leaving behind a man power crisis, the economy was ran down.
  • High levels of poverty among the Algerian peasantry caused the downfall of Ben Bella. The Algerian economy was characterized by inefficiency despite of increased productivity. This resulted into low prices for people’s produce making poverty room large among the peasant
  • lack of economic progress despite the increased prices of oil , the proceeds were plundered by the ministers and the president
  • Divisions in the army caused the downfall of Ben Bella. Ben Bella had a proposal to form a people’s militia and ran down the national army. This did not please the army officers who had just liberated the country from French colonial rule.
  • Personal rivalry between Ben Bella and Bourmedienne caused the military coup of 1965. Ben Bella had spent a lot of time in prison during the liberation struggle and only released in 1962 to become a leader. Therefore, Bourmedienne did not appreciate Ben Bella as a national leader. Ben Bella was planning to reshuffle Bourmedienne as the army commander.

  • Break down of the economy caused trouble for Ben Bella. As workers took over factories and shared profits after paying a contribution for the state, they mismanaged economic affairs of the country. Production sectors were paralyzed.
  • Failure of Ben Bella’s socialist reforms led to the overthrown of his government e.g. he nationalized major means of production e.g. industries, banks, large private enterprises etc and in the event antagonised capital owners. These teamed up with army officers to oust the government of Ben Bella.
  • Corruption and inefficiency in the government of Ben Bella caused his overthrow. Ben Bella failed to control misuse of public funds by his ministers, permanent secretaries and army officers and accumulated wealth within a short time.
  • The civil war that broke out in the Kabylie region caused the overthrow of Ben Bella. Many people who had fought in the liberation war remained with guns and kept on killing, robbing, looting and terrorizing the capital city and the country side. This was blamed on Ben Bella causing his downfall.
  • Power lust by colonel Houri Bourmedienne resulted into the overthrow of Bella. Bourmedienne had played a central role in the liberation war against the French and therefore he wanted to assume the supreme office.
  • Ben Bella abused the press/censorship of the press, only wanted the mass media to report positively about his government. Press freedom was greatly limited to the disappointment of liberal army officers.

  • Influence of successful coups caused the overthrow of Ben Bella. Successful coups such as 1963 coup in Togo, 1965 in Congo, 1952 coup in Egypt inspired coup plotters in Algeria to topple Ben Bella
  • Rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Algeria created enmity for Ben Bella, these preached the teachings of islam where a leader must be accountable to the subjects.


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