The Algerian view of the report by historian Benjamin Stora on France's colonial past


In January 2021 the French historian Benjamin Stora delivered a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron that is aimed at “reconciling memories” between France and its former colony Algeria. The French head of state said he would follow a recommendation in the report and establish a “memories and truth” commission to address the history of France’s colonial past in Algeria, but he stopped short of issuing an official apology. The report itself has attracted criticism in both France and Algeria. Mediapart has asked two Algerian historians, Afaf Zekkour and Noureddine Amara, for their views of the document and of Franco-Algeiran relations in general. The pair criticise Stora for what they call “soft revisionism” and for prioritising France's needs for a united view over the recounting of history. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

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On January 20th the French historian Benjamin Stora delivered a report on how France deals with its colonial past in Algeria, an issue that is still highly sensitive six decades after the North African country won its independence. President Emmanuel Macron, who commissioned the report, said he would set up a “memories and truth” but stopped short of issuing a full formal apology on behalf of France.