France's dark history in Africa proves Macron’s lies about freedom
African nations that suffered under French colonial rule, particularly Algerians, still remember France's colonial- era crimes, despite the passage of decades since their independence from Paris.
Every year, voices raise in Algeria demanding France to acknowledge and apologize for its colonial past in the North African country.
Algerians accuse Paris of obliterating their national identity, looting, torture, murder and carrying out nuclear tests during the colonial rule.
France occupied Algeria for 132 years, from July 5, 1830, until July 5, 1962, when the country declared its independence from colonial rule.
During the course of the struggle for independence, millions of Algerians were martyred, while hundreds of thousands more were injured, went missing or were forced from their homes.
French colonial authorities carried out 17 nuclear experiments in the Algerian desert in the period between 1960 and 1966. Algerian historians, however, put the number at 57.
The nuclear experiments caused the death of around 42,000 Algerians and thousands injured due to nuclear radioactivity.
This year's independence anniversary comes amid popular protests that called for or breaking with France at cultural and political levels and cancelling the use of the French language in state institutions, schools and universities. Protesters also blame Paris for the current political and economic situation in Algeria.
French historian Jacques Gorky estimated that 10 million Muslims were killed in Algeria by France from its arrival in 1830 until its departure in 1962.
In August, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said the French colonization of his country resulted in "crimes against humanity".
France also committed crimes in other African nations, including Chad, Tunisia and Morocco. France occupied Tunisia for 75 years, Algeria for 132 years, Morocco for 44 years and Mauritania for 60 years.
France officially occupied Chad from 1920 to 1960. In 1917, France gathered
400 Muslim scholars and beheaded them with machetes.
French government continues to increase pressure on Muslims
Despite the dark history, France has increased pressure on Muslims and Islamic organizations in the country in recent weeks since the French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo republished blasphemous cartoons insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
French President Emmanuel Macron made a controversial speech on October 2, in which he made remarks about “Islamist separatism” and announced plans to “restructure” Islam in France.
The government in France immediately began operations against Islamic organizations and places of worship in the name of "fighting radicalism."
Pressure on Muslims in the country further increased after Samuel Patty, a French teacher who showed blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during class, was murdered on October 16.
Three people were also killed by a suspected extremist inside Nice's Notre Dame basilica on October 29.
Critics say Macron's government is exploiting the spate of violence to intensify his controversial anti-Muslim stance.