In a step back from his previous comments, that France as a colonial power has nothing to apologise for, French President Hollande acknowledged several massacres in which thousands of Algerians were killed. The uproar comes amid an Algerian trip to expand commercial ties between the two countries.
France recognises Algeria colonial suffering
President Francois Hollande tells Algeria’s parliament French rule in North African country was “brutal and unfair”.
Falling short of an apology, President Francois Hollande has acknowledged France’s colonisation of Algeria was “brutal and unfair”.
“For 132 years, Algeria was subjected to a brutal and unfair system: colonisation. I acknowledge the suffering it caused,” Hollande told the Algerian parliament on Thursday on the second and final day of a landmark visit to the North African country.
“We respect the act of memory, of all the memories. There is a duty of truth on the violence, the injustices, the massacres and the torture,” he said of the 1954-1962 Algerian war which ended in Algerian independence and France’s withdrawal.
Referring to specific atrocities, Hollande cited the massacres at Guelma, Kherrata and Setif, where nationalist unrest that broke out at the end of World War II was brutally suppressed by French forces, leaving thousands dead.
“On May 8, 1945, when the world triumphed over brutality, France forgot its universal values,” Hollande said.