Algeria awaits apologies from France for its colonial past

(Paris) Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said on Saturday he expected an apology from France for the colonization of Algeria and estimated that his counterpart Emmanuel Macron was “someone very honest” likely to contribute to this soothing climate.

France Media Agency

Asked during an interview with the international channel France 24 about possible excuses from Paris, he replied: “We have already received half apologies. We have to take another step […] We want to ”.

“This will make it possible to calm the climate and make it more serene for economic relations, for cultural relations, for neighborhood relations”, he continues by recalling that more than six million Algerians live in France and that they “can bring something there and here”.

France made a strong gesture of appeasement in terms of memory by restoring Friday the remains of 24 Algerian fighters killed at the beginning of French colonization in the XIX e century.

This restitution offers a relaxation in the relations between Algeria and the old colonial power, marked since independence in 1962 by controversies recurrent and tension.

“I find that with President Macron we can go far in appeasement, in solving the problem of memory,” said President Tebboune.

“He is someone very honest, who wants to calm the situation (..) and allow our relationships to return to their natural level”, he continued, also calling him “very sincere ”,“ very clean from a historical point of view ”.

During a visit to Algiers in December 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron undertook to return the Algerian human remains stored at the Museum of the man. The same year, but before his election, he called the colonization of Algeria in Algiers a “crime against humanity”.

The memory question remains at the heart of volatile relations between France and Algeria, where the perception is that France is not doing enough to settle its colonial past.