Historian Benjamin Stora gave French President Emmanuel Macron his report on the colonization and war in Algeria, which the president had commissioned him. Macron rules out, however, apologizing for the colonial crimes committed in Algeria.
The Elysee Palace made it clear that there will be “no regrets or apologies”, but “symbolic acts” to promote reconciliation. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune expected Macron to make a formal apology for the French colonization of Algeria, after his country received “half-apologies” in the past from his predecessors in office.
Next year marks 60 years of Algeria’s independence. But the wounds of the French colonization of Algeria (1830-1962) and the war in Algeria (1954-1962) remain unhealed on both sides of the Mediterranean.
«Nobody proposes to write a common History. My mission is to build bridges, not to merge the memories, but to decompartmentalize them, because the memories have been communitarized, ”Stora explained in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien. Stora, a specialist in the contemporary history of Algeria, assures that “the will of Emmanuel Macron is the reconciliation of France with its past.”
In her report, Stora makes 22 proposals to Macron. Among the proposals, highlights the creation of a Truth and Memory Commission to promote common initiatives of historical memory, the location of the remains of the fallen of both sides or the entry into the Pantheon of the anti-colonial lawyer Giséle Halimi.
But “building bridges” is not easy, given the complex historical relationships between the two countries. Macron does not want to hurt the sensitivities of the different communities that suffered this conflict and its consequences, so he plans to participate in three important commemorative events for each group.
On September 25, Macron will celebrate the national day of the “harkis”, the Algerians who fought alongside France against the independence of Algeria. On October 17, the bloody repression of a demonstration in favor of Algerian independence held in Paris will participate in the 60th anniversary. And March 19, 2022 will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Evian Accords, which ended the war in Algeria in 1962.