France Speeds up Access to Algeria War Secret Archives

Flag of Algeria

Well now France is speeding up the access to secret Algeria war archives… but there is a caveat… a lot will depend on whether the French government wants it or not. … I wonder if these declassified documents will encompass all Algerians killed during that time and not just high profile figures like independence fighter Ali Boumendjel; hopefully, by opening these, more light will be shed on the countless Algerians who perished at the hand of the French… I also wonder if France will do it for other African countries, because we would all like to know about the genocide in Cameroon [French President Acknowledges French Genocide in Cameroon], in Madagascar, the Napalm bombing in Cameroon, the death of Sylvanus Olympio in Togo, the assassination of Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso (his widow is still asking for those), the death of Mehdi Ben Barka, Barthelemy Boganda, and countless others. Well, while we wait, please read excerpts below from an article on RFI‘s website. Lastly, is this a ploy to distract Algerians from protesting against their government and leftover croonies from the previous government which have been backed up by France for years?

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France is to make it easier for researchers to access classified government files that date back more than 50 years, especially those relating to the Algerian War – still a highly controversial chapter in French history which authorities have struggled to face.

French flag

A statement from the Elysée Palace said, as from Wednesday, a new procedure would “significantly reduce the delay” [I thought it was plain OPEN… why reduce the delay?] for declassifying documents in order to “encourage respect for historical truth”. It specifically mentioned documents relating to the Algerian War of independence (1954-62) [what about prior events? We all know that some periods before then were just as gruesome].

The measure comes after a series of steps taken by Macron to reconcile France with its colonial past and address its history with Algeria, which was under French rule for 132 years until its independence in 1962.

Under French heritage laws, official documents, including on defence and security issues, should be made available to researchers and the public after 50 years.

But historians and archivists have complained about difficulties in getting access to files because the process is not automatic. Every single document must be formally declassified and stamped before it becomes accessible, a slow process that has effectively kept much information under wraps.

Carte de l’Algerie (Map of Algeria)

Under the changes, archivists will be able to declassify archive boxes all at once rather than document by document, which will, in theory, [there it is: it a theory… knowing the French government, this is just nice words] speed up the process.

… Even once the files are technically declassified, they can still be meticulously checked page by page for sensitive military secrets before being handed over … Despite the latest announcement, “if the authorities don’t want to declassify, they won’t”. …

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