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World Algerian War: the Élysée excludes "apologies" but considers "symbolic acts"

15:05  20 january  2021
15:05  20 january  2021 Source:   france24.com

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There will be "no repentance nor apologies " for the occupation of Algeria or the bloody eight-year war that ended French rule, Macron's office said, adding that the French leader would instead take part in " symbolic acts " aimed at promoting reconciliation.

While some may argue that compensation contains an inherent symbolic element of recognition, I contend that an explicit ac- knowledgment of wrongdoing is necessary to maximize the reparative ef- fect and to prevent against outright beneficiary rejection of pecuniary measures.

"Symbolic acts" are envisaged, but there will be "neither repentance nor apologies "following the submission of a report on Wednesday on the colonization and war in Algeria by historian Benjamin Stora to Emmanuel Macron, said the Elysee.

Le président français Emmanuel Macron reçoit mercredi les propositions du rapport commandé à l'historien Benjamin Stora sur la colonisation et la guerre d'Algérie (1954-1962) pour tenter de sortir la relation franco-algérienne de la paralysie mémorielle. © Joël Saget, AFP French President Emmanuel Macron receives on Wednesday the proposals for the report commissioned from historian Benjamin Stora on colonization and the Algerian war (1954-1962) in an attempt to break the Franco-Algerian relationship out of memory paralysis.

French President Emmanuel Macron receives, on Wednesday January 20, the proposals of the report commissioned from historian Benjamin Stora on colonization and the Algerian war (1954-1962) to try to get the Franco-Algerian relationship out of paralysis memorial.

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A few hours away from an interview scheduled for 5 pm with this recognized specialist in contemporary Algeria, the Élysée has already indicated that "symbolic acts" are being considered but there will be "neither repentance nor apologies ".

The Head of State will participate in three days of commemoration within the framework of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Algerian war in 1962: the national day of the harkis on September 25, the repression of a demonstration of Algerians on October 17, 1961 and the Evian agreements of March 19, 1962, the presidency said.

"An inventory"

Benjamin Stora was commissioned in July by Emmanuel Macron to "draw up a fair and precise inventory of the progress made in France on the memory of colonization and the Algerian war", completed in 1962 and which remains a very painful episode in the memories of the families of millions of French and Algerians.

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He wants to promote a "will of passage, bridge, circulation, decompartmentalization of memories", he declared on the eve of the submission of the report.

"It's not just ideological, it's not just speeches we make, favorite words we say, but acts, that is to say to open archives, to identify places, looking for the missing, maintaining cemeteries. These are things which are very simple, very practical, very obvious but which are as many disputes, very serious problems between France and Algeria ", he listed, without unveil the content of the report made public on Wednesday.

A burning issue

The first French president born after this war, Emmanuel Macron shows his desire to dispassionate and unblock this burning issue and try, through this, to appease the volatile bilateral relations for decades between the two countries, intimately linked by History, from the conquest and colonization of 1830 to the War of Independence.

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In Algeria, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune instructed the director of the national archives, Abdelmadjid Chikhi, to work on the memorial issue, together with Benjamin Stora, in a common and concerted approach by the two heads of state.

As the 60th anniversary of the end of the conflict approaches in 2022, Emmanuel Macron entrusted him with this report as part of his initiatives to try to "finish the historical work on the Algerian war" because , he explained in December, "we have lots of memories of the war in Algeria which are so many wounds".

In France alone, Algeria is present in the family memories of millions of French people and Algerians, whether they are blackfoot returnees, conscripts from the contingent who waged war (who did not 'was not called as such for a long time but designated by the term "events in Algeria"), harkis, these auxiliaries who fought for France, and of course Algerian immigrants ...

Algiers awaits from Paris that he be given "all" of the archives of the colonial period (1830-1962) concerning her. "Algeria is claiming all of its archives, a large part of which is in France which has always put forward false pretexts, such as the declassification of a number of archives that have been collected for several decades," said Abdelmadjid Chikhi, a veteran of the War of Independence.

France returned to Algeria part of the archives that it kept, but it kept the part concerning colonial history and which, according to it, falls under the sovereignty of the French State.

With AFP

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The Elysée wants to wait a few days to fully measure the effect of the curfew at 6 p.m. on the entire national territory © Jacques Witt / SIPA Jean Castex and part of the government at the exit of the Elysee Palace. EPIDEMIC - The Elysée wants to wait a few days to fully assess the effect of the 6 p.m. curfew throughout the country containment will not be implemented in the coming days. The executive wants to give itself time to observe the results of the curfew at 6 p.m.

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