Algeria and the upcoming French presidential elections

Algeria and the upcoming French presidential elections

France, which kept its colonial grip on Algeria for more than a century (from 1830 to 1962) never recognized the appalling brutality of its conquest of the North African territory, nor its bloody repression of the Algerian independence movement, in spite of innumerable requests to do so by Algerians. In fact, France never came to grips with its colonial past. Even worst, in February 2005, the French parliament voted to pass a law in which France’s colonialism would be referred to as a “positive role.” But the law was repealed a year later by President Jacques Chirac. However, the question of France’s behavior towards Algeria remained a highly charged and controversial issue in French politics, and has resurfaced recently during the campaign for the presidential election to be held on 23 April 2017, when one of the candidates, Emmanuel Macron, called colonisation of Algeria a crime against humanity, a ‘real barbarity’, the first time a French politician refers to French occupation of Algeria in these terms. (