French President Emmanuel Macron has ruled out an official apology for abuses in Algeria, his office said Wednesday, ahead of a new study on how France is tackling the country’s colonial history.
Macron’s office said there would be “no repentance or apologies” for Algeria’s occupation or the bloody eight-year war that ended French rule, adding that the French leader would instead take part in “symbolic acts” aimed at fostering reconciliation.
Six decades later, the massacres committed by both sides during the Algerian war of independence of 1954-1962 continue to strain relations between the two countries.
In acknowledging French crimes in Algeria, Macron, the first president born
after the colonial era, went further than any of his predecessors.
Later on Wednesday, the historian, commissioned by the President to examine “the progress made by France
in the memory of the colonization of Algeria and the war in Algeria,” will present his conclusions.
However, the study by Benjamin Stora is not intended to recommend an apology to France, but rather to suggest ways to shed light on one of the darker chapters of French history and to propose ways of encouraging healing.
The presidency said Macron would take part in three days of commemorations next year marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the Algerian war.
Each day will be dedicated to a different group that suffered in the conflict, presidential aides added.