Algeria marks 60 years of independence from France with celebrations, parade
Algeria is celebrating 60 years of independence from France on Tuesday with nationwide ceremonies, a pardon of 14,000 prisoners and its first military parade in years.
The events mark the country's official declaration of independence on July 5, 1962, after a brutal seven-year war which ended 132 years of colonial rule.
The war, which killed up to 5.5 million people, half of the population of Algeria at that time, remains a point of tension in relations between Algeria and France.
“A day of glory for a new era" is the official slogan of the celebration, which includes concerts, sports events, lectures and photo exhibits retracing the horrors of the war.
City workers hung Algerian flags and portraits of the war's heroes, and loudspeakers in public squares are broadcasting patriotic songs.
Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika abandoned holding military parades, but his successor, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, revived the tradition for this year's anniversary.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Hamas and the presidents of Tunisia, Niger, Congo and Ethiopia were expected to take part in Tuesday's anniversary events.
France has dark history in Algeria and other African nations
France killed millions of Algerians and committed war crimes during its colonial rule of the North African nation from 1830 to 1962.
In May 1830, France invaded Algeria under the pretext of receiving seven million francs. Algerian fighters strongly resisted the attack, but due to the superiority of the French equipment, the war was prolonged and French soldiers committed murder, rape, torture and other crimes against Algerians.
According to some estimates, the struggle for independence from France left over five and a half million Algerians dead, which amounted to about half of the country’s population at that time.
After the victory of the revolution and the independence of Algeria, the crimes of France continued and led to the destruction of Algerian settlements and the killing of thousands of people.
Even after nearly 60 years, Paris has failed to act against perpetrators of genocide, torture, murder or even to compensate the country for such actions committed by its forces.