Sidi-bel-Abbès (sēˌdē-bĕl-äbĕsˈ) [key], city (1998 pop. 180,260), W central Algeria, on the Mékerra River. It is the commercial center of an important area of vineyards, market gardens, orchards, and grain fields. Farm and electronics equipment are manufactured. The city developed around a French camp built in 1843. Until 1962, Sidi-bel-Abbès was headquarters of the French Foreign Legion.