Tuesday, May 17

Algerian war: Emmanuel Macron will make a gesture towards the black feet

Emmanuel Macron must bring “a word of gratitude”, this Wednesday, towards the returnees from Algeria, those commonly called the pied-noirs. A gesture that is part of the President’s memorial policy, started since the start of the five-year term in 2017.

“One of the salient points of the President of the Republic’s remarks will revolve around what happened on March 26 in Algiers, rue d’Isly”, explained the Elysée. A week after the signing of the Evian Accords and the ceasefire, on March 19, 1962, civilian demonstrators in favor of French Algeria who were trying to force their way to the Bab El-Oued district, rue d’ Isly in Algiers, were machine-gunned at a roadblock held by the French army.

The shooting lasted more than a quarter of an hour and caused, according to various sources, at least fifty deaths among the demonstrators. This drama marked the beginning of the massive exodus of Pieds-noirs from Algeria.

This “recognition” of Emmanuel Macron is part of a series of memorial acts carried out since the beginning of the five-year term and corresponds to the approach of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Algerian war with the Evian Accords then the independence of this country on July 5, 1962.

Numerous memorial gestures since 2017

On September 14, 2018, Emmanuel Macron thus acknowledged, “in the name of the French Republic”, that the young communist mathematician Maurice Audin had been “tortured to death, or tortured and then executed by the French army” in 1957. March 3 2021, he acknowledged that the nationalist lawyer Ali Boumendjel had also been “tortured and murdered” on March 23, 1957 by the French army, contradicting the initial version of a suicide.

On September 20, 2021, the Head of State asked “forgiveness” to the harkis, Algerian auxiliaries to the French army, who were “abandoned” by France. A bill, recording this “pardon” and attempting to “repair” the damage suffered, is currently being examined in Parliament and should be adopted by the end of February.

Emmanuel Macron also denounced “inexcusable crimes for the Republic” during the 60th anniversary of the massacre by the French police of Algerian demonstrators on October 17, 1961 in Paris.

Unequal relations with the Pieds-noirs associations

In addition to the representatives of associations, artists “pieds-noirs”, including the director Alexandre Arcadi and the actress Françoise Fabian, are expected at 3 p.m. at the Elysée. The meeting will open with a testimony from Danielle Michel-Chiche, whose leg was amputated at the age of 5 after being injured in the attack on the Milk Bar on September 30, 1956 in Algiers.

Relations have remained complicated between the executive and the returnees since Emmanuel Macron described colonization as a “crime against humanity” during a trip to Algiers in 2017. Many associations are calling for these remarks to be withdrawn and the One of them, Le Cercle Algerianiste, declined the invitation to the Elysée Palace until it was.

Memorial exchanges remain at a standstill with Algeria. “France has made a number of gestures. The hand is still outstretched and the president is waiting for someone to take it,” observed the Elysée.


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