PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron has refused to issue an official apology for the atrocities in Algeria, his office said on Wednesday in a major report calling for a “truth commission” to shed light on France’s colonial past. Demanded to make
The French presidency said there was no question of “repenting” or “apologizing” for the occupation of Algeria or the bloody eight-year war that ended 132 years of French rule.
Presidential aides said it was more important to end Algeria’s culture of “denial and abandonment” around France’s past, and said Macron would make “symbolic gestures” of reconciliation.
Historian Benjamin Stora, president formed the commission to review France’s progress in countering its past, in a report on Wednesday on the “never-ending memory war” between the former colonial power and the colony. I stated, “I was targeted.”
Stora made a number of suggestions, including the creation of a mixed French Algerian “Memory and Truth Commission” that would hear testimonies from people who had suffered during the Algerian war and sought reconciliation.
The atrocities on both sides during the Algerian War of Independence of 1954-1962 have strained relations between the two countries even after six decades.
Macron, the first post-colonial president, has surpassed any of his predecessors in acknowledging crimes committed by French forces. But he has drawn the letter with an official apology, strongly opposed by many French rightists who see the national repentance process as an act of deception.
A presidential aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some of the “symbolic actions” prepared by Macron included participating in three-day commemorations next year.
The same day marks the crackdown on the Algerian protests in France in 1961. The other will remember “everyone”. Algeria had fought alongside French forces in Algeria and had been forced to flee after the war.
The event included some of the suggestions made by Stora, who said that acknowledging past mistakes was more important than offering an apology.