Western Europe

France to declassify archives of Algerian war ahead of schedule

14:35, 11 December 2021
France to declassify archives of Algerian war ahead of schedule Photo: pixabay.com

French Minister of Culture Roslin Bachelot announced that the archives of judicial investigations related to the war in Algeria (1954-1962), as a result of which Algeria gained independence, will be disclosed.

The decision was made against the background of the current deterioration in relations between the two countries and two days after the visit of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Algeria, Le Figaro reported.

Bachelot explained that she made this decision to prevent falsifications and it is only one possible way to restore relations with Algeria on the truth.

“We need to have the courage to look the historical truth in the face,” Bachelot said.

In 2018, French President Emanuel Macron admitted that the mathematician and activist of the French Communist Party, member of the anti-colonial movement Maurice Auden was brutally killed by the French military in 1957 in Algeria.

The President promised the Auden family access to the archives. In March 2021, Macron promised to make it easier to declassify archives about the war so that the process can be accelerated.

The Algerian war led to the fall of the Fourth Republic, two coups in the army, the creation of a secret ultranationalist organization, the SLA, which tried to prevent the recognition of Algeria's independence by terrorist actions.

In France, the war in Algeria is still perceived ambiguously. Only in 1999, the country's National Assembly officially recognized the hostilities in Algeria as a war. 

Relations between France and Algeria escalated in October 2021 after France decided to reduce the issuance of visas to citizens of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, as these countries, according to Paris, didn't cooperate sufficiently on the return of illegal migrants.

Macron recently told Le Monde that the official history of Algeria has been "completely rewritten" and is not based on truth, but "a discourse of hatred of France."

"Was there an Algerian nation before the French colonization?" - added the French leader.

These statements in Algeria were regarded as "interference in the internal affairs of the country.