In the atmosphere of the boil, which continues to support the blade from the bottom raised by the conditions of the death of George Floyd, this African-American killed in Minneapolis in late may by a white policeman, the memory of acts related to racism and colonialism woke up a can all over the world and particularly in the ex-colonies or possessions to various articles of the european empires of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth century. Thus, Algeria has decided to establish a day of Memory, on may 8, in memory of the massacres of 1945 committed by the French forces in the Constantinois. This was done through a law adopted last Tuesday unanimously at a plenary session of the national people's Assembly (APN), the lower house of Parliament. A moment that mps have described as" historic ". During the presentation of the draft law, the minister of the Moudjahidine (veterans), Tayeb Zitouni, had castigated " the French coloniser who did not hesitate to repress protesters through a fierce campaign that left tens of thousands of victims ".
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What is commemorated
On may 8, 1945, as France celebrated the victory of the democracies over fascism, demonstrations for independence took place in Sétif, Guelma and Kherrata, the three cities of eastern algeria, where nationalists paraded, flags algerians to hand. They were brutally repressed by the French colonial forces killing thousands of people. Algerians speak of 45,000 victims. The French from 1 500 to 20 000 deaths, including 103 Europeans. "May 8 is a date symbol. The symbol of the rupture, the break final between France and colonial Algeria colonized ", stressed Fouad Sufi, archivist and historian, researcher at the Centre for research in social and cultural anthropology Oran (north-west), as cited by AFP. In addition, a member of the national liberation Front (FLN), has a majority in Parliament and party of the former ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, stated that " France must recognize its crimes in Algeria during the colonial period, and ask for forgiveness."
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Criminalization of acts of colonialists
Going further, the legal committee of the NPC proposes to include an article on " the criminalization of the acts perpetrated by the French colonialism and unfair on may 8, 1945 against the algerian people ". This recommendation will be submitted to the department of veterans affairs.
The president Abdelmadjid Tebboune had decided to create this "national day of the Memory" on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the massacres of Sétif. He had qualified the massacres of 1945 for " crimes committed against humanity and against the values, civilizational, because based on ethnic cleansing ". The algerian president had also denounced " the maneuvers of the currents and lobbies racist to the other shore of the Mediterranean ".
In February 2017, while he was a presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron, on a visit to Algiers, had described the colonization of Algeria as a " crime against humanity ", the " true pear ", which had earned him widespread criticism from politicians of the right in France. Ensuring that Algeria " has nothing against the French people, among whom she counts friends who participated in his war of liberation ", the minister of the Mujahideen considered that " the relations of business, industrial and cultural between the two countries cannot weigh in front of the national memory ".
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A sensitive issue
As has been proven at the recent scrambles in diplomatic relations between Algiers and Paris about the broadcast of a French documentary on the youth antirégime, bilateral relations remain volatile. Even if Paris tries not to put oil on the fire while the discourse of anti-French remains a powerful factor of legitimacy in the eyes of the algerian authorities. France was thus kept from any criticism after a series of arrests of activists of the "hirak," the popular movement that calls for the departure of any of the ruling class, accused of having betrayed the ideals of the algerian revolution. These contractions of recurrent and feed the perception in Algiers that France is not doing enough to end its colonial past.
The algerian authorities want to put it back on the table the folder of the "disappeared" during the war of independence (1954-1962) more than 2 200 depending on Algiers, and the French nuclear tests in the algerian Sahara, which " have made and continue to make victims ". Nevertheless, "the writing of the history of the algerian revolution comes up to our days in the exclusive domain of the algerian State," recalls Pierre Vermeren, professor of contemporary history at the university of Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, a specialist of North Africa, in his livreLe Shock of Décolonisations (2015).
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