World, Middle East

Algerian president vows not to cede rights over 'French colonialist crimes'

Abdelmajid Tebboune pledges to continue efforts to get compensation from France for its nuclear tests in Algeria

Abdul Razzaq bin Abdallah  | 18.03.2022 - Update : 18.03.2022
Algerian president vows not to cede rights over 'French colonialist crimes' President of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

ALGIERS, Algeria

Algeria's president on Friday pledged not to cede his country's rights over French colonialist crimes against Algeria, stressing such that such rights "are not subject to the statute of limitations."

In a statement addressing the Algerian people on the 60th anniversary of the 1962 Evian peace accords between France and Algeria, which ended the eight-year war of Algerian independence, Abdelmajid Tebboune vowed to continue efforts to restore his country's heritage from France and to receive clarification from France on the fate of Algerians missing from the battle for Algeria's independence.

"We will demand compensation for the victims of the (French) nuclear testing and for other cases linked to these testing from France,” he added.

Approximately 1.5 million Algerians were killed and millions more displaced in an eight-year struggle for independence that started in 1954 and ended on March 18, 1962.

France has also committed cultural genocide against Algeria since 1830, wiping out significant pats of Algeria’s three centuries of Ottoman heritage and local identity.

Paris has never officially apologized to Algeria as a state for its colonial policies.

For years, Algeria has negotiated with France over four historic issues, starting with restoration of the Algerian archive, which France still refuses to hand over to Algeria, along with the retrieval of skulls belonging to leaders of the Algerian resistance who were beheaded by French colonial forces.

The last two issues involve compensation to the Algerian victims of the French nuclear experiments in Algeria (1960-1966), and clarification from France over Algerians missing from the war of independence, estimated by Algerian authorities at 2,200 missing persons.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar​​​​​​​

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