Analyzing long-term impacts of counterinsurgency tools in civil wars: A case study of enforced disappearances in Algeria


  • Aïcha Madi Université de Montréal



Algeria, Dark Decade, Enforced Disappearances, Victim Impact, Social Recovery, Collective Memory Trauma


Background: The decade long civil war that struck Algeria in the 90s still has strong impacts on the Algerian society today. This article aims at describing how mass human rights violations committed by state actors have repercussions on far more than just the direct victims, which complicates post-war recovery and should be considered during the elaboration of any transitional justice process. Method: Interviews conducted among mothers, brothers and wives of individuals that were taken by state actors and have disappeared since then were analyzed to understand the impact enforced disappearances can have on more than the direct victims. Results: The study of the Algerian experience with enforced disappearances shows that the victimizations that result from enforced disappearances are multi-level and long-term. Discussion: Any post-conflict rehabilitation process that comes after such mass inhuman treatments that aspires to be complete and truly contribute to social well-being needs to also take into consideration secondary level victims, which represent family members of the direct victims, as well as third level victims, which represent the societal and collective memory impacts that result from the use of human rights violation mechanisms by state actors.


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How to Cite

Madi, A. (2021). Analyzing long-term impacts of counterinsurgency tools in civil wars: A case study of enforced disappearances in Algeria. Torture Journal, 31(2), 83–91.