The French President, Emmanuel Macron, took one step more on Monday in the recognition of France's responsibility in the conflict with Algeria, from which 60 years are celebrated in 2022, and asked for forgiveness to the Harkis, the Algerians who helped them in the war. "I want to show our recognition to the fighters. We will not forget them, I ask for forgiveness, we will not forget," Macron said at a reception at the Elysee, headquarters of the Gala Presidency, with about 300 descendants of the Algerians who positioned themselves next to France.
The Head of State also announced that the Government will present a bill here at the end of the year to "enroll the recognition and repair towards the Harkis". These ancient combatants, about 200,000 men, were recruited as auxiliaries by The French army during the conflict from 1954 to 1962, but at the end of it they were abandoned by Paris and victims of reprisals in Algeria.
Many of those who were sent to France, especially women and children, were interned in fields under unworthy conditions, which has also left sequels for many of them. Five days after the day of homage to the Harkis, held since 2003, Macron was a step beyond the former President François Hollande, who in 2016 recognized the responsibility of the French governments in the abandonment of this collective.
The speech of the French president was applauded sometimes but also interrupted by a woman who had been interned as a child in these concentration camps and who shouted that the apologies are not enough. "I did not grow up at the School of the Republic, but in the field," the woman said between tears, who denounced having grown up in humiliation.
The descendants associations of Harkis (about 400,000 people) claim an improvement of compensation. In 2018, the Government granted a new allocation of 40 million euros in four years for the pensions of ex-combatants and the children of these, many of whom live in precarious conditions. These groups claim that the law serves to get out of compassion and go towards a true policy of repair and justice. In his desire to heal wounds on the country's colonial past, Macron ordered in March of this year, declassifying documents from the Ministry of Defense until 1971, which includes the tumultuous periods of French decolonization in Africa, such as the Helry War.
Also in the case of the French involvement in the Civil War of Rwanda, the French Presidency commissioned a report, published last April, in which a series of serious failures, shortcomings and lack of foresight by the French Government of the French Government is verified. time, unable to perceive the obvious preparations of what was being formed in Rwanda.Updated Date: 21 September 2021, 00:52