ALGIERS, Nov 27, 2012 (AFP) -
ALGIERS, Nov 27, 2012 (AFP) –
Algeria made a fresh demand on Tuesday for France to recognise that it perpetrated massacres during colonial rule, while issuing an assurance that it will not seek any compensation.
“We have not demanded France to indemnify us, but only to recognise crimes it perpetrated against the Algerian population,” Minister of the Mujahedeen Mohammed Cherif Abbas said.
The minister has launched a drive to gather evidence of the Algerian Revolution, particularly between 1954 and 1956, culminating in 1962 with the independence of Algeria which this year celebrates 50 years of existence.
On October 30 Abbas had called for “frank acknowledgement” of the crimes committed against the Algerian people by the French during its colonial rule.
French President Francois Hollande recognised in October the “bloody repression” of Algerian protesters by police in Paris in October 1961, which historians say killed dozens, possibly hundreds.
Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci has said the issue would be discussed when Hollande visits the country in December.
“We are expecting a visit from Mr Hollande for the clarifications that the Algerian people are waiting” for on the issue, he said.
During his December visit, Hollande hopes to improve relations between the two countries and achieve a “strategic partnership,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said after Hollande’s victory in May that “only an objective reading of history” would allow France and Algeria to overcome the “painful” legacy of the past.