Home WORLD AFRICA Algeria celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence

Algeria celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence


After nearly eight years of war between Algerian insurgents and the French army, the guns fell silent on March 18, 1962 under the terms of the historic Evian Accords, paving the way for Algeria’s proclamation of independence on March 5 July of the same year, approved a few days earlier by 99.72% of the votes during a self-determination referendum.

Since Friday evening, the authorities have closed road traffic on a 16 km stretch, where the army has carried out final rehearsals in recent days before Tuesday’s military parade, the first in 33 years.

The closure to car traffic of this main access road to the center of the capital has caused huge traffic jams on the roads leading from Algiers to its eastern suburbs.

Several foreign guests, including Palestinian Presidents Mahmoud Abbas, Tunisian Kais Saied and Nigerien Mohamed Bazoum, are due to attend this military parade, which will be overseen by Head of State Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Photo: afp via getty images / RYAD KRAMDI

Independence was won after seven and a half years of war which left hundreds of thousands dead. A war which made Algeria the only former French colony in the 1960s to have freed itself by means of arms.

But 60 years after the end of colonization, the wounds remain acute in Algeria while France excludes any repentance or apologyalthough French President Emmanuel Macron has endeavored since his election to appease memories with a series of symbolic gestures.

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We cannot forget or erase by any process whatsoever, the human genocide, the cultural genocide and the genocide of identity of which colonial France remains guilty.declared Salah Goudjil, president of the Council of the Nation, upper house of Parliament, and veteran of the war of independence.

In March, Abdelmadjid Tebboune said that the memorial file should be approached in a way fairadding that the crimes of French colonization cannot be time-barred.

French President Emmanuel Macron underlined the 60th anniversary of the Évian agreements by saying that he was “reaching out” to the Algerian authorities.

Photo: Reuters / GONZALO FUENTES

The bilateral relationship appeared to have bottomed out in October when Mr Macron claimed that Algeria was built after independence on a memorial pensionmaintained by the politico-military systemarousing the ire of Algiers.

But relations have gradually warmed in recent months and Mr. Macron and his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune have expressed their willingness to deepen in a telephone interview on June 18.

On Monday evening, the French presidency announced that Emmanuel Macron had sent a letter to his Algerian counterpart on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of independence, in which he calls for strengthening already strong ties between the two countries.

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He also reiterates his commitment to continue his process of recognition of the truth and reconciliation of the memories of the Algerian and French peoples., adds the Élysée, which specifies that a wreath will be deposited Tuesday in his name at the National War Memorial of Algeria, in Paris. The monument, originally a memorial to soldiers who died for France, is now a tribute to all the victims of the conflict.

In Algiers, men take tea in front of a wall where you can see graffiti in favor of the independence of Algeria, in June 1962.

Photo: Getty Images/AFP/FARENC

Relations between the power system in Algeria and official France have been punctuated by crises and pseudo-reunions since the country’s independence.underlines the president of the opposition party Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), Athmane Mazouz.

At the current stage, no one can bet a penny to talk about refoundation. The instrumentalization of this relationship on one side or the other escapes no onehe adds.

Domestically, the government took advantage of the anniversary to try to ease tensions, three years after being shaken by the Hirak pro-democracy demonstrations.

In May, Mr. Tebboune launched an initiative to break the political immobility by receiving in turn several leaders of political parties, including the opposition, and officials of trade unions and employers’ organizations.

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