• Sofia Eugeniou

Algeria seeks apology for French colonisation


Image credit: Daily Sabah

Algeria is waiting on an apology over France's colonial past that occupied the North African country from 1830.


French occupancy of Algeria ended after the Algerian War of Independence concluded in 1962.


Algeria's president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has expressed hope that French President Emmanuel Macron would build on recent efforts to overcome animosity between the two nations.


An international re-examination of the legacy of colonialism has come to the forefront of social interest after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, by a white police officer. The ordeal has sparked mass Black Lives Matter campaigning around the world.


President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said that "we have already had half-apologies. The next step is needed...we await it".


Since the violent eight-year war that ended Algeria's imperial occupancy, relations between the two countries have been tense.


In what has been seen as France extending an olive branch to the formerly colonised nation, Algeria on Friday received the skulls of 24 resistance fighters who were decapitated during the colonial period.


The skulls were laid to rest on 5 July in the martyrs' section of the capital's El Alia cemetery - the date marks the 58th anniversary of Algeria's independence.


Tebounne has announced that an apology from France would "make it possible to cool tensions and create a calmer atmosphere for economic and cultural relations" - the six million Algerians that currently live in France make this proposition particularly important.


Acknowledging France's historic colonisation of Algeria, in December 2019, Macron said: "colonialism was a grave mistake" and a "crime against humanity", also calling for turning the page on the past.

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