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US News The bill to ask "forgiveness" to the "Harkis" voted in the Senate

10:32  26 january  2022
10:32  26 january  2022 Source:   parismatch.com

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The French Senate voted at first reading a bill to request "forgiveness" and try to "repair" the harm under the harkis.

  Le projet de loi pour demander «pardon» aux «harkis »voté au Sénat © Cecilia Lerouge / AP / SIPA

After intense debates, the French Senate voted at first reading a bill to ask for "forgiveness" and try to "repair" the harm under the harkis, number of elected martelant However, it could not be worth "balance of any account". The text was adopted in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday unanimously expressed votes (331 votes for, 13 abstentions). Nearly sixty years after the Algerian war (1954-1962, nearly 500,000 dead), this text is the legislative translation of a speech by the French President Emmanuel Macron, who, on September 20, had asked for "pardon" To these Algerians who fought alongside the French army, but who were "abandoned" by France.

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This text is "that of the recognition by the nation of a deep tear and a French tragedy, of a dark page of our history" , said the Minister responsible for memory and veterans Geneviève Darrieussecq. For the rapporteur Marie-Pierre Richer (right), if "includes important advances", the bill "has a taste of unfinished". The text, to which the National Assembly had given a first green light on the 18th of November, recognizes "the unworthy conditions" reserved for 90,000 harkis and their families, who fled Algeria after independence in 1962.


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nearly half have been relegated to camps and "Forest Forestation", directly managed by the State. For these, the bill provides for "reparation" of the prejudice with, at the key, a lump sum taking into account the duration of the stay in these structures. The number of potential beneficiaries is estimated by the government at 50,000, for an overall cost of 302 million euros over six years. Senators have incorporated "some prisons converted into places of reception for returnees" in the list of structures eligible for the repair mechanism. But disappointment has crystallized on those who are not included in the field of compensation, the 40,000 returnees who have not stayed in these structures, but in "urban cities".

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"Their only wrong is not having lived surrounded by barbed wire"

"their only wrong is not to have lived surrounded by barbed wire," said the right senator Philippe Tabarot, whispering a repair mechanism "at the partial and bias ". The Senate has adopted two amendments to expand the prerogatives of the Board of Recognition and Remedy for the bill. That of the government tends to guarantee "to all combatant harkis" access to this commission, which will be able to examine their individual situations and offer them "any appropriate recognition measure". The leader of the right senators (the Republicans) Bruno Retaileau wanted to see later by confident, for all Harkis, the care of "proposing any measure of recognition and repair".

But the minister warned against "false hopes" that this addition could arouse, because "the Commission will not decide itself to allocate compensation". MPs and senators will now attempt to agree on a compromise text. In case of failure, the Assembly will have the last word. Up to 200,000 Harkis had been recruited as auxiliaries of the French army during the conflict. A tribute day of the nation is devoted to them every September 25, since a decree of 2003.

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