60 years after the Algerian war

The Algerian War officially ended with the signing of the Évian Agreement 60 years ago. Despite the agreed ceasefire, violence continued until the country achieved independence from France on 5 July 1962. Commentators take stock of how well the parties are coming to terms with the past.

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Ouest-France (FR) /

A shared day of remembrance is needed

What is lacking is a unified culture of remembrance between the two countries, Ouest France points out:

“It has not yet been possible to agree on a commemoration of the end of the conflict. March 19, 1962, the day of the ceasefire in Algeria? It seems strange to commemorate the anniversary of an event that was far from marking an end to the violence. So what other date? How commemorations are chosen is an indicator of our relationship to history and our will to recognise a common destiny. This is a great challenge. For it is common knowledge that past injuries, resentments and humiliations are the breeding ground for authoritarian regimes and their threat of revenge.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Continue on the rocky road of reconciliation

Macron is doing much to bring about a reappraisal of the past, Die Welt writes approvingly:

“For decades, France only talked about 'events', until the Algerian War was finally recognised as such in 1999. ... In the five years of his first term, Macron has honoured all groups of victims with symbolic gestures and in small but important steps. Memorials have been erected, words spoken, archives opened, and a museum is soon to be built in Montpellier in the south of France. The process of coming to terms with the past was long overdue. But it was only a beginning. Macron - or his successor - must continue on the rocky road of reconciliation.”