To say the least, the Stora report on the memory of colonization and the desire displayed by Macron to find avenues for a “Reconciliation” do not make much noise in Algeria. No official reactions or political statements. Not even from the former single party FLN, which has largely exploited the history of the struggle for independence, which has been rather moribund since the emergence of the hirak. “I vaguely know that reservations have been made, in particular by the emissary appointed for represent the Algerian party, but nothing more, because nothing was clearly said, the claims were not specified “, reacts the historian Mohammed Harbi, author of several books including the FLN: mirage and reality (1980), contacted by Humanity.
“Address the issue of racism, Islamophobia, the suburbs”
Said envoy is Abdelmadjid Chikhi, presidential advisor in charge of the National Archives and the memory file. Non-historian and rather conservative, he is not unanimous among researchers. He was skeptical from the launch of the report commissioned by the Élysée. According to him, “French public opinion is not united in the face of the colonial past. There are lobbies and influential associations which obstruct negotiations ”, he regrets in an interview with Algerian radio. With regard to archives, “This question is not part of the memory file”, he asserts. Reputed to be uncompromising on this subject, he insists: “We demand the recovery of all national archives dating from before 1962.”
The Stora report is nonetheless eagerly awaited by intellectuals, journalists and politicians. “We must go clearly towards the recognition of the historical truth, of the nature of the crimes committed by France in Algeria, which are crimes against humanity”, estimates Yacine Teguia, member of the national office of the Democratic and Social Movement (MDS, left) and son of a colonization historian who was a member of the liberation army. “Talking about reconciliation of memories also means dealing with the issue of racism, Islamophobia, immigration, the suburbs…” he adds. Sharper, Noureddine Fethani, intellectual and leftist activist, is above all impatient, like so many others. “I trust Benjamin Stora, he insists, the only credible in my eyes with Mohammed Harbi. I don’t think the same of Abdelmadjid Chikhi at all. I believe that it is rather in the service of a history which legitimizes power. “ Certainly, a new debate in perspective …