Macron asks Harkis to 'pardon' France and opens door to compensation

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French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his government will soon present draft legislation to allow for the payment of compensation to the Harki community, in recognition of “the dereliction” of the French state’s duty towards them. The Harkis were the Algerian paramilitary who fought under the orders of the French army during the Algerian War of Independence. About 90,000 of the auxiliaries and family members fled to France to escape imprisonment and executions after Algeria gained independence in 1962. More than half of them were kept for decades in camps in dire conditions, abandoned by successive governments. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

 

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One of the many open wounds remaining from the bloody 1954-1962 Algerian war of independence is the miserable fate of the “Harkis”, a paramilitary force of Algerians who fought alongside, and under the orders of, the French army against the armed pro-independence movement led by the National Liberation Front (FLN).