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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Algerians mull next steps after vote
Algerian woman in traditional dress casts her vote in Sidi Rais near Algiers
Many Algerians are keen to put the bloody civil war behind them
Voters in Algeria have backed government plans to grant an amnesty to those jailed for killings during the country's bloody civil war, in which 100,000 people died.

The BBC News website spoke to two Algerians about the referendum results, how they think Algeria can move on from the war's brutal legacy and what it means for them.


RACHID, 34, ALGIERS/UK

I think the referendum is good in the long run - if it works. There needs to be dialogue between the two sides, the militants and the government.

If the people fighting in the mountains don't agree the whole thing is pointless.

It is a wound that will take years to heal, but hopefully better security will help, along with regeneration and foreign investment

Hopefully it will be a good step for regenerating our country, resurrecting our economy. We have so much potential with oil and gas and tourism.

Look at Tunisia for example. It's a small country but lives off its tourism facilities. Ours are non-existent. We have about 1,200 km of coast and we don't seem able to do anything with it because of security problems.

Also, corruption is everywhere.

There is a lot of bureaucracy. We keep blaming our country but recovery has to start with normal citizens. As the president put it, we can all do office jobs, or train to be a builder or a carpenter. We all have to put in the effort to make it work.

We have to stop the violence, work hard and give more to the community.

President Bouteflika does not have a magic wand - we need stability
I've been going back to my homeland every year for the last seven years and at the moment if you go to Algeria you don't feel secure, especially at night.

The militants would kill anybody. They chose soft targets. We call them pirates back home.

The militants in the mountains would take people hostage. They would stop you in the street and threaten you.

Those who had money could give, then the militants became rich. But imagine if you had a son who disappeared.

It is a wound that will take years to heal, but hopefully better security will help, along with regeneration and foreign investment.

I would like to see our country the way it was, when all the Europeans came to Algeria. Their absence is a great loss to our economy.

We became a consuming society, with debt and inflation instead of exports and industry. Prices like 120 dinars for a kilo of potatoes are ridiculous when you earn 1,600 dinars a month and have four or five children.

We are trying to do new things, trying to create new jobs and housing for poor people.

But President Bouteflika does not have a magic wand. We need stability.

OMAR, 40, BLIDA, ALGERIA/US

It's a beautiful thing that has happened. Algeria has suffered for more than a decade and there has been much loss.

The next stage is to start from scratch, to have a new beginning.

Before, they tried to get those involved in the fighting into tribunals and it was a huge mess.

Before, we just talked about how to survive and how to leave - now we need to think about our future
Who are you going to go after? Some people think all of the militants are guilty but for those still in the mountains it is the only way to get them back to their people.

This way they can go home to their families, help rebuild the country and become good citizens.

Women holding pictures of missing relatives stage protest in Algiers
The fate of 6,000 who disappeared during the war remains unknown
In 1994 and 1995 in Blida, where I am from, the situation was very scary.

There were many bombings and although my family has not been touched by the violence we know many people who have lost family members.

I can understand those who are sceptical. If someone has lost a family member or friend it's not easy.

But the referendum says that those with blood on their hands won't be forgiven.

And you must think for the future, those with children need to raise them in prosperity and security. It's the only way to stop the bloodshed.

After this process started a few years ago we could see a huge difference. Casualty numbers were diminished, people felt more secure.

Now we can improve the economy and foreigners can invest without fear.

Before, we just talked about how to survive and how to leave. Now we need to think about our future.


SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Algerian referendum
28 Sep 05 |  Africa
Timeline: Algeria
14 Apr 05 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Algeria
13 Jul 04 |  Country profiles
Algeria to vote on amnesty plan
14 Aug 05 |  Africa


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