World

Macron hopes for easing of tensions with Algeria

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he hoped that tensions with Algeria would ease following his critical comments about the country’s leaders and a row about visas.

“My wish is for a calming down because I think it’s better to talk and to make progress,” Macron told the France Inter broadcaster, adding that his relations with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune were “truly cordial”.

Algeria over the weekend recalled its ambassador from Paris and banned French military planes from its airspace, which France regularly uses to reach its forces battling jihadists in the Sahel region to the south.

The moves came after France announced it would slash the number of visas granted to Algerians by half, as well as reported comments by Macron that Algeria’s post-independence “political-military system” had “totally re-written” the country’s history.

Macron told descendants of Algeria’s war of independence last week that the history transmitted to Algerians was “not based on truths” but “on a discourse of hatred towards France”, according to remarks reported by Le Monde newspaper on Saturday. 

The office of Algeria’s president responded by saying the comments, which have not been denied, were an “interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

– ‘Memory war’ –

Macron has gone further than previous French presidents in seeking to face up to the legacy of France’s colonial history, which he sees as part of efforts to create a sense of national unity given the millions of French citizens of African origin.

He told France Inter that there were many different memories and “injuries” stemming from French colonialism, but that his ambition was to “try to recognise all of these memories and enable them to co-exist”.

“There will inevitably be other tensions, but I think our duty is to try to advance this work,” he said.

In 2018, Macron admitted that France had created a “system” that facilitated torture during the war and he acknowledged that French mathematician Maurice Audin, a famed Communist pro-independence activist, was murdered by French forces in Algiers.

While campaigning for president in 2017, he declared that the colonisation of Algeria was a “crime against humanity,” and last month he asked for “forgiveness” from the families of Algerians who fought alongside the French in Algeria.

Many of these fighters, known as Harkis, were massacred by Algerian troops after being abandoned by France ahead of the north African state’s independence in 1962.

In July last year, Macron also tasked French historian Benjamin Stora with assessing how France has dealt with its colonial legacy in Algeria, but the final report has since become a sore point between the nations.

Algeria’s government called it “not objective” and “below expectations”. 

Macron told descendants of Algeria’s war of independence last week that the history transmitted to Algerians was “not based on truths” but “on a discourse of hatred towards France”, according to remarks reported by Le Monde newspaper on Saturday. 

The office of Algeria’s president responded by saying the comments, which have not been denied, were an “interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

– ‘Memory war’ –

Macron has gone further than previous French presidents in seeking to face up to the legacy of France’s colonial history, which he sees as part of efforts to create a sense of national unity given the millions of French citizens of African origin.

He told France Inter that there were many different memories and “injuries” stemming from French colonialism, but that his ambition was to “try to recognise all of these memories and enable them to co-exist”.

“There will inevitably be other tensions, but I think our duty is to try to advance this work,” he said.

In 2018, Macron admitted that France had created a “system” that facilitated torture during the war and he acknowledged that French mathematician Maurice Audin, a famed Communist pro-independence activist, was murdered by French forces in Algiers.

While campaigning for president in 2017, he declared that the colonisation of Algeria was a “crime against humanity,” and last month he asked for “forgiveness” from the families of Algerians who fought alongside the French in Algeria.

Many of these fighters, known as Harkis, were massacred by Algerian troops after being abandoned by France ahead of the north African state’s independence in 1962.

In July last year, Macron also tasked French historian Benjamin Stora with assessing how France has dealt with its colonial legacy in Algeria, but the final report has since become a sore point between the nations.

Algeria’s government called it “not objective” and “below expectations”. 

|AFP

GWO

Ghanaweb Onine is dedicated to bringing you news from various media groups in Ghana,Africa and around the world to keep you informed and educated as you go about your daily lives. Disclaimer: The views of each article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not reflect that of Ghana web online.We are not responsible for any misinformation or incorrect statement. If you need any more clarification on an article please direct them to the original source.All contents belong to their respective owners we do not own it.

Related Articles

Back to top button