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Macron receives historian Benjamin Stora's report on the Algeria war

Macron receives historian Benjamin Stora's report on the Algeria war

French historian Benjamin Stora delivers on Wednesday to French President Emmanuel Macron his awaited report on colonialism and the Algerian war (1954-1962), which contains proposals aimed at extricating the relationship between France and Algeria from the paralysis caused by unresolved memory issues.

Macron receives historian Benjamin Stora's report on the Algeria war

In July, Emmanuel Macron commissioned Benjamin Stora, one of the most prominent experts specializing in modern Algerian history, to "prepare an accurate and fair report on what France has accomplished regarding the memory of colonialism and the Algerian war" that ended in 1962 and is still a very painful episode in the memory of millions of French families. And the Algerians.

Stora wants, above all, to promote "the desire to create bridges, circulate and dismantle memory," he told AFP Tuesday.

"This is not just an ideology, and it is not just speeches that we give, and selected words that we say, but actions, that is, opening the archives, locating places, searching for missing persons, creating graves. These are very simple, very practical and very clear things, but they are all very heavy and contentious issues between France." Algeria. "

Emmanuel Macron, the first French president born after this war, shows his determination to resolve this extremely complex file and try to calm the decades-old volatile relations between the two countries, which are closely linked to history, from the invasion and occupation of Algeria in 1830 to the War of Independence.

In Algeria, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune commissioned the director of the National Archives and his special advisor, Abdelmadjid Sheikhi, to work on the memory file, in coordination with Benjamin Stora, in a joint and coordinated approach between the two heads of state.

With the approaching sixtieth anniversary of the end of the war (1962-2022), Macron entrusted the French historian with this report as part of his initiatives to try to "end the historical work on the Algerian war," because "we have many memories of the Algeria war and they are many wounds," he said in December. /Dec.

In France alone, Algeria is strongly present in the family memory of millions of French and Algerians, whether they are black feet (French born in Algeria during colonialism), or recruits in the war (which remained for a long time described by the term "events in Algeria"), and the Harakis, who are the Algerians. Who fought for France, and of course, Algerian immigrants ...

- "Exiting memory disputes" -

"It is important for the history of the Algeria war to be known and viewed with an insightful mind," Macron wrote in Stora’s assignment letter. He believed that the issue is also related to "giving our youth the ability to get out of memory-related conflicts."

On the Algerian side, President Tebboune expressed, in an interview with the French newspaper "Le Pignon," his hope that my Sheikh and Stora would work "in an atmosphere of truth, serenity and calm to solve these problems that poison our political relations, the business climate and good understanding."

Algeria expects Paris to provide it with "all" the archives of the colonial period (1830-1962) related to it, according to Abdelmadjid Cheikhi, a participant in the war of independence.

"Algeria is demanding all of its archives that are in a large part of it in France," Sheikhi said, noting that France "has always made excuses" for not handing it over, "such as not declassifying part of the archive, although it was collected decades ago."

France had previously returned to Algeria a portion of the archive, but it kept the part related to colonial history which, according to it, falls under the sovereignty of the French state.

Born in 1950 in Constantine, Algeria, Stora teaches the history of the Maghreb, the wars of decolonization and Maghreb immigration in Europe at the University of Paris 13 and at the Institute of Oriental Languages. Among his most famous books are "Gangrene and Forgetting," "Memory of the Algerian War," "Recruits in the Algerian War," and "Algeria, the Hidden War."

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