Macron says will not apologize for France’s atrocities in Algeria
French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to make an official apology for the crimes that were committed during the colonial rule of France over Algeria 1830 to 1962.
There will be “no repentance nor apologies” for the occupation of Algeria or the bloody eight-year war that ended 132 years of French rule over the North African nation, Macron’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that the president would instead take part in “symbolic acts” aimed at promoting reconciliation between Paris and Algiers.
The 1954-62 Algerian war of independence continues to strain relations between the two countries nearly 60 years later.
The first French president born after the colonial period, Macron acknowledged that the colonization of Algeria was a "crime against humanity" during his presidential campaign in 2017, going further than any of his predecessors.
In 2018, he also admitted that France had instigated a system that facilitated torture during the Algerian war.
The statement comes hours ahead of a major report on how France is facing up to its colonial past in Algeria.
The report, compiled by historian Benjamin Stora, is expected to recommend ways of shedding light on one of the darker chapters of French history.
Algeria still awaits an apology for France’s occupation of the country.
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.
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.
France also committed crimes in other African nations, including Chad, Tunisia and Morocco. France occupied Tunisia for 75 years, Morocco for 44 years and Mauritania for 60 years.