Algeria celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence

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Algeria celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence

Algerians celebrate the independence of Algeria, July 5, 1962, in Paris.

It is with great fanfare that Algeria celebrates Tuesday the 60th anniversary of its independence from France, acquired after 132 years of colonization, and whose memory still strains its relations with Paris.

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

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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 the military parade on Tuesday, 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 suburbs is.

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

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

Independence was wrested after seven and a half years of war that claimed hundreds of thousands of dead. A war that made Algeria the only former French colony in the 1960s to be freed by arms.

But 60 years after the end of colonization, the wounds remain raw in Algeria since France rules out any repentance or apology, although President Emmanuel Macron has endeavored since his election to soothe memories with a series of symbolic gestures.

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, thus 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 fair way, adding that the crimes of French colonization cannot be subject to prescription.

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

The bilateral relationship seemed to have bottomed out in October when Mr. Macron claimed that Algeria had been built after independence on a memory rent, maintained by the politico-military system, arousing the ire of Algiers.

Relations have gradually warmed in recent months and Mr. Macron and his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune expressed their desire to deepen them during 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 called for the strengthening of the already strong ties between the two countries.

He reiterates, moreover, 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.< /p>

Relations between the power system in Algeria and official France have been punctuated by crises and pseudoreunions 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 rebuilding. The instrumentalization of this relationship on one side or the other escapes no one, he adds.

On the plan Inside, the power took advantage of the anniversary to try to ease tensions, three years after being shaken by the pro-democracy demonstrations of Hirak.

Mr. In May, 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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