By Hossam al-Din Islam
ALGIERS (AA) - Ben Mustapha Ben Odeh, an icon of the Algerian resistance against the forces of French colonialism, died Monday at the age of 93, according to the Algeria Press Service (APS).
Popularly known as “Ammar”, he passed away in a Brussels hospital following a long struggle with an illness, APS reported.
Born in 1925 in Algeria’s eastern province of Annaba, Ben Odeh served as a colonel in Algeria’s National Liberation Army from 1954 to 1962.
He was a member of the influential "Group of 22" which at a 1954 meeting in the capital Algiers made the fateful decision to launch a rebellion against French colonialist forces.
Ben Odeh was also a member of the Algerian delegation to the Evian negotiations (1961-1962) which culminated in Algeria's de facto independence from France on July 5, 1962.
Following independence, he was appointed as Algeria’s military attaché in Cairo, Egypt and Paris and Tunisia.
He became ambassador to Libya in 1979 and was made president of Algeria’s National Merit Council during the presidency of Chadli Bendjedid (1979-1992).