France to finally open secret archives detailing war that killed thousands of Algerians

Recall that, the Algerian government has over the years called on France to admit and recognize its crimes in the country during colonial era after the former refused to own its dark history which saw the massacre of thousands of Algerians.

The Algerian information Minister, Ammar Belhimer earlier said in a statement that, “France’s escape from recognizing its colonial crimes in Algeria cannot last long. A criminal usually does everything possible to avoid admitting his crimes.” The minister added at the time that, the government will make sure France accept its crime.

The continuous effort have yielded results as France has finally agreed to open access to the secret archives that contains the country’s dark history of the mid-20th century.

Tired of French dominance in Algeria during the colonial era, a group of indigenes led my the National Liberation Army mobilized and rebelled against the establishment seeking independence and an end to French presence. The French troops launched an attack on the locals, killing hundreds of thousands of them before the much-desired independence.

Information on this occurrence was highly classified, restricting access. Series of demands for justice and the truth fell on deaf ears until this recent announcement of declassification of the archives.

Roselyne Bachelot, the Culture Minister of France who announced the long overdue decision said “we need to have the courage to look the historical truth in the face.”

Benjamin Stora, a French historian also said access to the archives will detail the actual incidents that occurred during the independence war. “You can know which people were under surveillance, followed, arrested,” Stora said, adding that “It’s the whole chain leading up to repressive measures that can be unveiled.”

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