Today in African History – Kaïd Ahmed, Algeria's Freedom Fighter

Today in 1978 marks the passing of one of Algeria’s  greatest freedom advocates and nationalists Kaïd Ahmed.

Born in March 3rd 57 years before his passing, Ahmed grew in a poor household in Sidi Belgacem- yet displayed a quality in his personality that would prove a radical shift of leadership in Algeria. Ahmed was known mostly to be sharp minded, more so at a young age. while studying his primary and secondary education in Tiaret, Tiaret province, Ahmed was enlightened to the atrocities that Algerians suffer at the hands of legislative colonial policies imposed by French colonization at the time.

With such knowledge that created a revolt in his mind – he openly campaigned on freedom of Algerians. however, between 1935-1945, he served his country during the  second World War. Upon his return, he campaigned further within the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto (Union Démocratique du Manifeste Algérien -UDMA).

His campaign led his to be elected as a Municipal Councillor and Deputy Mayor of the Tiaret Province between 1951 and 1954. during his term of service he was more active in sensitizing the youth on the countries state – enlightening more young people on their opression, helping them realize what freedom really is. In 1953, he organized a conference termed, ‘youth of UDMA’ (JUDMA).

in 1955, he moved to country’s capital Algiers to meet with other like-minded nationalists. Meeting with leaders of the Special Organisation (a secret parliamentary organisation in Colonial Algeria) and the militant group Revolutionary Committee for Unity and Action (CRUA). Three years later he joined the National Liberation army where he became Commander Slimane along other pivotal freedom fighters such as the late Colonel Lotfi , and fought during the national liberation war. Peering intrinsically, one would not that Khaid worked tooth and nail to  organize,structure and arm the NLA for war with the colonialists.  The struggle for independence was finally realized on July 3rd 1962, and declared July 5th of the same year, with the country governed in the new party National Liberation Front, a continuation of the Liberation Army. He later became the deputy Minister of Toursim in the government of the People’s Democratic Repulic of Algeria

Although Khaid was pivotal in assuming freedom for his country, he had a difference of opinion on how the country should be run with then President Ben Bella. The notably authoritative and socialist style of leadership conflicted with Khaid’s democratic views, which resulting in Khaid leaving the country in 1964. He later resigned and moved to France then Morrocco where he died of a heart attack. He was buried on March 10th by his family in his home grounds March 10th.

Mr. Ahmed Khaid to the world, Commander Slimane to his soldiers, a man of the people to Algerians.