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Unemployed movement in oil and gas rich Ouargla town, Algeria

Ouargla is one of the wealth poles of Algeria and the richest energy towns in the country, where most of the big oil and gas companies are based. Yet, since February 2012 there has been growing discontent about the lack of jobs for local workers.


The city of Ouargla is located 85km from Hassi Messaoud, one of the wealth poles of Algeria and the richest energy towns in the country, where most of the big oil and gas companies are based.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Unemployed movement in oil and gas rich Ouargla town, Algeria
State or province:Ouargla Province
Location of conflict:Ouargla
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Shale gas fracking
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Shale gas
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population: Unemployed local population
Start of the conflict:01/01/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Sonatrach from Algeria
Entreprise Nationale de Services aux Puits (ENSP) from Algeria
Entreprise National de Travaux Aux Puits (ENTP) from Algeria
Entreprise Nationale du Forage (ENAFOR) from Algeria
Entreprise Nationale de Geophysique Algérie (ENA-GEO) from Algeria
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:CNDDC (National Committee for the defence of the Rights of the Unemployed
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Informal workers
Social movements
Unemployed workers (esp. youth)
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:The struggle has been for more jobs for the disenfranchised and economically disempowered youth as well as to confront the contemptuous authorities and challenge them in order to bring about justice.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

El Watan (2017). Ouargla : Les chômeurs exigent le départ du directeur de l’ANEM. 02 February 2017.
[click to view]

Hamza Hamouchene (2016). The Struggle for Energy Democracy in the Maghreb. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
[click to view]

Al Jazeera - 14 MARCH 2013

Thousands protest unemployment in Algeria

Estimated 10,000 gather in Sahara town to protest lack of employment opportunities and corruption in oil-rich region.
[click to view]

Protests in Ouargla: Focusing on Job Creation in Algeria

Apr 02 2013

by Mahmoud Ourabah
[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Platform London
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2677
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