PARIS, 20 January 2021 – The French government will not apologize or repent for France’s colonial past in Algeria, Paris has hinted.
The lack of remorse was expressed ahead of the scheduled publication Wednesday of a study into France’s role in Algeria during a bitter war in which no fewer than one million Algerians are believed to have been killed.
The Champs Elysee, or office of French President Emmanuel Macron, has said the French leaqder will seek reconciliation with Algeria in various ways.
Hopes that France would not only own up to its atrocity crimes during colonization in Algeria but apologize and even pay reparations for it vaporized after Macron’s office signaled that it would not be on board with a pardon or apoogy.
Macron became the first French leader since colonization to publicly state that he considers that France’s treatment of Algerians during colonization consititutes crimes against humanity.
In the year-long struggle before Algeria’s independence from France in 1962, Paris refused to recognize that there was even a war going on in the country and continued to insist that Algeria was part of France’s territory.
Hundreds of thousands of Algerians who sided with the French, enabling their colonization of Algeria and actively fighting against their compatriots who demanded independence, had to flee Algeria into France.
No fewer than half a million French ciizens who lived in Algeria had to leave the country and return to France, laying the seeds for long-running grievances between French citizens and Algerian citizens.
France colonized the north African country from 1830 until independence in 1962.
One of the compliations the French government would not like to apologize and would not entertain the idea of paying reparations is the fear that many other former French colonies will demand the same or better treatment from France.
The French have integrated into official policy the myth that France’s colonization of Africa had what it calls a civilizing mission (“mission civilisatrice”).
The truth is that French colonization more often than not resulted in genocide.
In the western regions of Cameroon, the French massacred hundreds of thousands of people of Bamileke descent in the vain hope of keeping Cameroon French.