20 October 1999
The presidential elections which were held in April 1999 were boycotted by six of the seven candidates. The new president, Abdelaziz Boutefika, has made many gestures towards re-establishing peace. In the aftermath of his election, an amnesty was declared for prisoners of the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) the political party which won the elections in 1991 but was prevented from taking power by the army. In July 1999, Algeria hosted the conference of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the first international meeting of its kind in Algeria in ten years. MSF runs three programmes in Algiers : a mental health training course which promotes new method-tools for counselling, a programme to promote alternative caring methods for child minders in nurseries and an exchange programme for technical and professional workers in the psycho-social field. Songes, an aid agency created by MSF, supports Algerian associations. MSF helps rehabilitate health care structures and provides regular medical donations. MSF also provides assistance to Algerians in France.