Posted on January 26, 2021

France Won’t Apologise for Algeria Colonisation

Associated Press, January 20, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to take further steps to reckon with France’s colonial-era wrongs in Algeria but is not considering an official apology, his office said.

A report commissioned by Macron, to be published later Wednesday, submits proposals to improve the complex relationship between the two countries, from opening up war archives to holding commemorations.

Macron’s office said there will be “no apologies” but that Macron intends instead to make “symbolic acts” aimed at emphasizing recognition of the harsh colonial reality and helping reconciliation between the two countries.

Macron will take part in three commemoration days by next year, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the eight-year war with France that resulted in the North African country gaining independence in 1962 — after 132 years of French rule.


The first French president to be born after Algerian independence, Macron promised to open a new chapter in France’s relationship with Algeria during his term, including facing the countries’ painful history.


He commissioned historian Benjamin Stora last year to assess France’s relation with the memory of Algeria’s colonization and the independence war.


In his report, Stora noted that the “excesses of a culture of repentance” don’t particularly help with facing the past.