In a highly symbolic ceremony, French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday met the 87-year-old widow of Maurice Audin, a communist mathematician who disappeared in 1957 after being arrested by the French military during the seven-year Algerian war of independence, when he apologised to Josette Audin on behalf of the French state and, in the first official admission of its kind, acknowledged the army's systematic use of torture during the conflict.
The French overseas territory of New Caledonia will hold a referendum on November 4th to decide whether the South Pacific archipelago should opt for self-rule. It comes after a 30-year political process to ease continuing high tensions between pro-independence militants from the indigenous Kanak population and the community of ethnic Europeans. The territory has a chequered and often violent history since it became a French possession in 1853, which Mediapart is charting this summer in a series of articles which examine the construction of what was a most singular colonial project. Here, Lucie Delaporte returns to the story of how the defeated militants of the 1871 Paris Commune were deported to New Caledonia alongside Algerian tribesmen who led one of the first major revolts against French rule in Algeria.
Tweet by French president hinted that Harkis - who fought on France's side in War of Independence - should be welcomed back to Algeria.
Macron was in capital Algiers for talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and senior officials, a rite of passage for all new French presidents.
Following the controversy stirred by French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's comments last week that France's 1830-1962 period of colonial rule in Algeria was 'a crime against humanity', FRANCE 24 turned to historian Pascal Blanchard to explain the reasons for why the topic still arouses such heated tensions.
Centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's comments, during a trip to Algiers, that French colonial past in Algeria included crimes against humanity, which he said 'we must face up to also by apologising to those who were hurt', have been slammed by his far-right and conservative rivals, the latter describing his move as 'unworthy'.
A former militant with the Algerian extremist Armed Islamic Group, which led brutal attacks in the country in the 1990s, Merouane Benhamed fled to France and was among 25 people convicted in 2006 for plotting an attack in support of Islamist fighters in Chechnya.
Following Algeria's independence from France in 1962 around 800,000 Algerians of French descent, known as 'Pieds-Noirs', resettled in mainland France, many of them in the south of the country. It has long been assumed that the presence of so many of these repatriated settlers was a major factor in the political rise of the far-right Front National in the Mediterranean region of France. But as Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports, the supposed influence of this ageing group of voters may largely be a myth.
France, along with countries around the world, marked ‘Victory in Europe Day’ on Friday, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of war in Europe. But May 8th 1945 also marks the beginning of the massacres of thousands of Algerian civilians by French soldiers and settlers’ militias, which, according to various estimations, left between 6,000 and 35,000 people dead. The events, which began during celebrations of the victory over Germany in a market town in north-east Algeria, were for 60 years unrecognised by France. Documentary maker Mehdi Lallaoui tracked down survivors and witnesses of the mass killings, along with rare archive material, for a 55-minute film for TV channel Arté, which Mediapart presents here. To accompany it, Lallaoui writes of the context and horrors of the weeks of mass murders, and calls for what “is undisputedly a crime against humanity” to at last be officially recognised as such.
Algerian security sources say the body of Hervé Gourdel was found in Akbil, close to where he was kidnapped by Islamists in September 2014.
The Algerian government said Abdelmalek Gouri, head of the group which executed Hervé Gourdel in September, was killed by special forces.
Algerian and French media reported that Bouteflika, who was last year treated for a stroke in France, returned for care on Tuesday.
The Algerian justice minister claimed a militant involved in the September abduction of French tourist Hervé Gourdel was killed last month.
Algeria refused to send investigators in France crucial samples of the skulls of the seven monks murdered in mysterious circumstances in 1996.