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Algeria to sue France if it fails to recognise crimes

Demonstrators wave Algerian flags during a protest over fears of plot to prolong the Algerian president's rule, on Place de la Republique (Republic's Square) in Paris, on 24 March, 2019 [FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty]
Demonstrators wave Algerian flags during a protest over fears of plot to prolong the Algerian president's rule, on Place de la Republique (Republic's Square) in Paris, on 24 March, 2019 [FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty]

A diplomatic crisis looms on the horizon of relations between Algeria and France in light of Algeria’s adherence to receive France’s official recognition of its colonial crimes against the Algerian people and its willingness to sue the French authorities internationally if they refuse to acknowledge those crimes.

Algerian Minister of Mujahideen, Tayeb Zitouni, revealed that Algeria would sue France if it continues to refuse to recognise the colonial crimes it committed against the Algerians.

Zitouni said in a press statement, reported by Echorouk on Monday, that “the Algerian authorities will take all necessary legal measures to recover the file of the Algerian national memory.”

The national memory file is one of the highlights of the Algerian-French relations because Algerians have not forgotten the crimes committed by the French in their country during a century and a half of colonialism.

Zitouni stated that he started recruiting elected personalities, associations and a group of lawyers to file a lawsuit in international courts.

Read: Half a million Algerian workers jobless following corruption investigations

He considered that: “France’s lateness in recognising colonial crimes is an indication of its refusal to advance in solving the file.” The minister also indicated that the national memory file consists of four major issues, namely the archive, the nuclear trials, which affected the inhabitants of the Algerian desert, in addition to more than 3000 missing Algerians, who disappeared during the Algerian War of Independence. The final issue is related to the recovery of the skulls of the national resistance figures, which have been exposed in the Paris Museum for more than a century and a half.

Observers believe that the relations between the two countries are heading towards more tension because of the sensitivity of the memory and history files, which cannot be obscured.

Zitouni concluded his remarks by saying that the French-Algerian relations will not take an ordinary course without settling the file.

There has been no advancement in the national memory file, despite the promises made by French President Emmanuel Macron during his 2017 electoral campaign, when he declared from Algeria that France’s colonisation to Algeria was a “crime against humanity”, which ignited a wave of anger against him in France.

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