Deciding to promote relations between Paris and Algiers, the head of state on Friday cited an assignment to the historian Benjamin Stora so that “Algeria’s war history is known and viewed with clarity”. The latter will have to draw its conclusions at the end of the year.
On Friday, July 24, Emmanuel Macron received the historian Benjamin Stora and led him on a mission to “commemorate colonization and the Algerian war”, to promote “reconciliation between the French and Algerian peoples”, the Élysée announced.
This mission, the conclusions of which are expected at the end of the year, “will make it possible to draw up a fair and accurate inventory of the progress made in France on the memory of colonization and the Algerian war, as well as focusing on these issues on both sides of the aisle. Mediterranean, ”the presidency explained.
In a parallel trial, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on Sunday that he had appointed Dr. Abdelmadjid Chikhi, director general of the Algerian National Archives Center, to carry out “truth” work on memory issues between the two countries.
>> To read: Algeria and France will perform joint memorial of “truth”
Born in 1950 in Constantine, Algeria, Benjamin Stora is one of the most famous specialists in Algeria’s history, especially during the war (1954-1962) that led to the country’s independence.
In Benjamin Stora’s letter of assignment, Emmanuel Macron indicates that “it is important that the history of the Algerian war is known and viewed with clarity. The regret and calm of those on whom it is due. The blows”. For him, it is also “the opportunity for our youth to come out of memory conflicts”.
“A new desire for reconciliation between the French and Algerian peoples”
“I want to join a new desire for reconciliation between the French and Algerian peoples,” the president wrote. Because “the subject of colonization and Algeria’s war has for too long hindered the construction between our two countries of a common destiny in the Mediterranean”.
A strong sign of a thaw in relations between Algeria and the former colonial power, Paris handed over in early July the remains of 24 Algerian fighters who were killed in the beginning of French colonization in the 19th century. A gesture is considered “a big step” by Algiers.
>> To read: France returns to Algeria the remains of 24 fighters killed during colonization
“Through this kind of gesture, France discovers its history,” Benjamin Stora said in an interview with AFP. For him, “there is a global movement to readjust the history of the peoples and France cannot miss it”.
The mission of Emmanuel Macron should allow “Benjamin Stora to freely formulate recommendations for the next step in this work of truth and memory,” according to the Élysée.
Since the beginning of his five-year term, Emmanuel Macron has acknowledged that Maurice Audin, an independence mathematician who died in 1957, had indeed “died under torture as a result of the system then established in Algeria by France”. He also honored the Harkis, these Algerian warriors who served France before being abandoned by Paris under tragic conditions.