Keyword: war of liberation

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

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The skulls of Algerian resistance fighters decapitated during France's conquest in the 19th century have been returned to the country. © Sofiane Bakouri / Hans Lucas via AFP The skulls of Algerian resistance fighters decapitated during France's conquest in the 19th century have been returned to the country. © Sofiane Bakouri / Hans Lucas via AFP

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.