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French President Macron refuses to apologise for colonial abuse in Algeria

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French President, Emmanuel Macron has refused to apologise for France’s colonial abuse in Algeria.

Six decades after Algeria gained independence, the French president’s office said that there will be “no repentance nor apologies” over crimes committed during the ruling of Algeria or the brutal eight-year war that ended occupation.

The comments come before the publication later today of a report he commissioned into how France is facing up to the legacy of that period.

Mr Macron, who has done more than many of his predecessors in recognising the abuse committed, will carry out a series of “symbolic acts” in attempt at reconciliation.

Last year, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called on France to do more in facing up to its colonial past.

“We have already had half-apologies. The next step is needed … we await it,” he told France 24 in July 2020.

“I believe that with President Macron we can go further in the appeasement process … he is a very honest man who wants to improve the situation.”

In 2017, Mr Macron said the colonisation of Algeria was a “crime against humanity” and a year later said France had facilitated torture during the 1954-1962 war when French forces cracked down on independence fighters and sympathisers.

The report by French historian Benjamin Stora, released on Wednesday, was commissioned to assess “the progress made by France on the memory of the colonisation of Algeria and the Algerian war”.

France’s colonial rule of Algeria began in 1830 and lasted to 1962, when it gained independence after an eight- year armed struggle.

Thousands of French and hundreds of thousands of Algerians died.

National/BBC

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