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French President calls on Algeria to recognize the 1962 Isli incident

Wednesday, 26 January 2022
Macron stresses the need for Algeria to recognize the 1962 Isli massacre|||| Macron stresses the need for Algeria to recognize the 1962 Isli massacre|||| ||||

International vision: French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed, in a speech at the Elysee Palace, in front of associations representing French people who were born in Algeria during the colonial period, and then moved to their mother country after independence, that "the massacre of July 5, 1962" in Oran, Algeria, which was committed hours before the declaration of Algeria's formal independence, which claimed the lives of "hundreds of Europeans, primarily French", must be "recognised".

Macron said that French soldiers shot two Frenchmen on that day, describing what happened as a "massacre", adding that France, 60 years later, "recognizes this tragedy."

"I say very clearly that the massacre of March 26, 1962 is unforgivable for the Republic," Macron said. "All documents of the French archive on this tragedy can be freely viewed and studied."

Referring to the great security chaos and the outbreak of violence and the perpetration of "attacks and assassinations" at the end of the Algeria war, Macron called for recognition of the "July 5 massacre" in Oran.

He stressed the need to "recognize this massacre, reveal the truth, and tell its story."

A week after the signing of the Evian Accords and the ceasefire on March 19, 1962 in Algeria, civilian pro-Algerian demonstrators who were trying to make their way to the Bab El Oued neighborhood came under machine-gun fire at a French army checkpoint.

The shooting, which lasted for more than a quarter of an hour, according to various sources, resulted in at least fifty deaths among the demonstrators, all of them civilians. The Eisley Street shooting marked the beginning of the exodus from Algeria.

Macron touched on the difficulties faced by thousands of families.

He said that the arrival of these families in France reflected a relief because they "felt that they were safe", but they did not find solace, "because their values, language, accent and culture were quickly despised."

This "recognition" is part of a series of memory-related gestures, since the beginning of the presidential term, in the context of the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Algerian war.

On September 20, 2021, the French president asked for “forgiveness” from the Algerian harkis who had fought in the ranks of the French army during the Algerian war, and who had been “abandoned” by France. Parliament is currently considering a bill that includes this "forgiveness" and is trying to "repair" the damage they have done.

Macron also denounced "crimes committed by the republic that do not justify" on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the massacre carried out by the French police against Algerian demonstrators on October 17, 1961 in Paris.