France Admits Murder of Algerians … A Step Forward?

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Last week, France admitted the abduction and murder of Algerians during the war of independence. The events that happened during those times have been described as a genocide committed by France in Algeria. Is Macron’s admission enough to patch the Franco-Algerian relationship? I don’t know why, but it sounds more like France wants to keep Algerian natural gas (largest natural gas producer in the world), and oil flowing while they have closed their economy due to pandemic, to keep getting those free billions from Africa. I know, I am a skeptic, but would you blame me when France conveniently waits for all survivors to die to admit the abduction and murder of Algerians? I acknowledge that it is a step, but does Macron expects us to clap? to hug him for it? I don’t know why these European presidents and kings think that admission of murder means apology [French President Acknowledges French Genocide in Cameroon, Belgian King Expresses ‘Deepest Regrets’ for Colonial Past in Congo, Namibia Rightfully Rejects 10 million Euros Compensation for Genocide]. Like I have said before, it’s like France just woke up and said, “Yes… I killed your fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children… I tortured them… I murdered your freedom fighters… Idisplaced your families… it is all true… so what? what would you do about it?” The arrogance! Where is the apology? Where is the compensation for years of trauma? Where is the reparation? Until there is a clear “I am sorry”, until there is a clear “here is what we will do to right the wrongs,” until there is a clear “correction and inclusion in the history textbooks, opening of all classified documents”…. until there is a clear “respect for those killed, and for those living today” until then, there will be no respect for arrogant presidents! Excerpts below are from the BBC. Please also check what was written about the event on RFI.

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Flag of Algeria

France’s admission about the abduction and murder of Algerians during the war of independence is a big step but it is not enough, according to French historian Fabrice Riceputi.

It is a huge moment for the grandchildren of lawyer Ali Boumendjel, who were received by French President Emmanuel Macron to hear the truth about the assassination of their grandfather.

His widow Malika Boumendjel, who fought for decades for the truth about her husband’s disappearance rejecting the French official account of suicide, passed away last year aged 101 without hearing the acknowledgement she waited for all her life [isn’t it so convenient that France waits for survivors to die to “admit”?].

For Riceputi a rexamination of the French colonial rule in Algeria should not be restricted to “emblematic figures” such as Maurice Audin and Ali Boumendjel.

The French army in Algeria adopted since 1957 the technique of “forced disappearance” as a systematic method to crush the nationalists, according to Mr Riceputi.

It consisted of abducting, murdering and disposing of the body of any Algerian they suspect of having links with the FLN which led the war for independence.

There were tens of thousands in the capital city, Algiers and many more throughout the country, he says.

It was a “system designed to terrify the population” and silence dissidents and supporters of independence, the historian says.

It has also left dozens of thousands of families and generations of their descendants suffering decades of emotional and psychological trauma.

Mr Riceputi believes that the French authorities are avoiding the essence of the truth through these “selected” and “high-profile” admissions. …

The routine torture and murder of Algerian civilians by the French army during the seven-year war that some say claimed 1.5 million Algerian lives has been hushed up for decades.

Indeed, France has never even recognized the existence of a “war” in Algeria. Until 1999 they have always called it the “events” or “troubles” of Algiers. The atrocities committed by their army were described as “operations to maintain order”.

7 thoughts on “France Admits Murder of Algerians … A Step Forward?

  1. I saw a new article with something like that being mentioned, but this is so horrifying. I didn’t even know Algeria was subjected to an actual genocide by France, but nowadays I’m not surprised given all the other genocides that happened in the continent that don’t get talked about in history books or classes which you definitely mentioned here and other articles. Algeria should have carte blanche to demand not just an apology from the French government, but for reparations.

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      1. I hear you right there. Who would be the right judge for these cases. The ICC in The Hague would be the most obvious choice given the types of cases sent there, but even then, I could see other nations trying to make sure it doesn’t happen.

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