France opens access to Algeria independence war archives

France opens access to Algeria independence war archives

In yet another move seeking to reconcile relations with Algeria, France declassified Algerian Independence War archive files, including a number of documents that detail some of France’s most horrendous crimes in its former colonies.

France announced the declassification of the archives on August 27. The decision opens access to judicial archives between November 1, 1954, and December 31, 1966, Arab News reports. The files include the case of an Algerian minor who was tried before a French military court and subsequently beheaded.

French President Emmanuel Macron first granted access to these files two years ago. However, access remained highly restricted.

While Macron has made several initiatives to mend ties with Algeria, he drew the line at making an apology, arguing in an interview with Le Point that he doesn’t have to ask for forgiveness as it is “not the goal.”

Whether Macron’s attempt at reconciliation is welcomed in Algeria remains unclear. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was scheduled to go on a state visit to France in June. However, that visit never took place, despite Tebboune’s reassurance on Algerian television earlier this month that the visit was “still on track.”

The French president made an earlier attempt to improve ties with Algeria in 2020 when he sent a report prepared by the French historian Benjamin Stora. The report called for a series of initiatives to achieve reconciliation between the two countries.

However, the document did not include any mention of an apology to Algeria, which has long been a focal demand for the North African country.


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