YOUR ARTICLE "Europe finally roused by Algeria agony" (11 January) does not go far enough. You say "most observers now believe that parts of the government share complicity for some of the massacres..." This is the government that, faced with defeat at the polls, cancelled the elections, thus precipitating the entire conflict in which it now finds itself.

You describe the Algerian situation as "more complex than Bosnia ever was". The pre-war government in Yugoslavia was a rotating presidency representing seven distinct nationalities and three religions which deteriorated into armed conflict. Algeria'sproblems result from a single anti-democratic action.

You say "the Algerian government is internationally recognised, and needs to be treated with respect". Most dictatorships - Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, General Noriega - have been internationally recognised. Should we then offer them our respect too?

Peter Northall

London SE23

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