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Algeria, France to Discuss ‘Controversial Issues’ Related to Colonial Era

Algerian and French history researchers will meet on Monday in the Algerian capital to address controversial points around “the memory and the pain of colonialism,” in implementation of the pledges of Presidents Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Emmanuel Macron regarding “resolving the problem of history” so that they can build normal relations.

Algerian newspaper Al-Khabar reported on Monday that a delegation of French researchers, led by renowned historian Benjamin Stora, will discuss with the Algerian mission, headed by Lahcen Zeghidi, issues related to the period of the “French military invasion” and its impact on Algerian society, and “the associated crimes of looting, confiscation of land, forced displacement, and other thorny historical files.

It quoted Stora as stressing “the importance of working in this meeting on the motives and backgrounds of the colonial campaign (in 1830) and the various stages of the French presence in Algeria, and identifying the regions that witnessed massacres.”

Stora described Tebboune’s expected visit to France at the end of September or the beginning of October this year as “an opportunity to acknowledge France’s past in Algeria, and to scrutinize, with a scientific methodology, the massacres committed by the occupation army against the Algerian people in the early days of the invasion.”

The Algerian-French Joint Committee for History and Memory held its first meeting on April 19, 2023, on the basis of the Algeria Declaration document issued on August 27, 2022, when Macron visited the country.

The High-Level Joint Governmental Committee met in October 2022 with the parties agreeing to “address all issues related to the colonial period, the resistance and the glorious war of liberation.”

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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Yves Bergeron

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