The memories of violence that overshadow anniversary of deal that ended Algerian War


Last weekend marked the 60th anniversary of the Évian Accords which brought an end to the bloody Algerian War and paved the way for that country's independence from France. But for many ordinary Algerians their memory of that period is still dominated by the violence perpetrated at the time by the armed French group that was virulently opposed to granting Algeria's independence, the Organisation Armée Secrète or OAS. Nejma Brahim visited Oran on the north-west coast of Algeria where an OAS car bomb killed scores of people on February 28th 1962.

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In his tiny bedroom measuring barely 10m2 at Aïn El-Turk near Oran in north-west Algeria, Hmida sits down on the untidy sheets on his single bed, then stubs out the cigarette that had been lodged in his mouth until just a few seconds before. Aged 80, and never married, this man from the Oran area lives on what he can eke out from fishing and the support of his neighbours.