No excuses to Algeria, an armed conflict in the Maghreb "impossible to imagine"

French President Emmanuel Macron does not intend to apologize on behalf of France to Algeria for the vestiges of the colonial era, considering, categorically in this, that he will not ask “forgiveness” for the atrocities committed by France during the time of colonization.

I do not ask forgiveness from Algeria… I asked forgiveness from the Harkis with whom the Republic failed in its duty to defend them as promised“, he decided in a long interview with the newspaper “Le Point”.

However, he “hopes” to welcome his Algerian counterpart to France in 2023 to continue the work of reconciliation between the two countries with regard to memorial issues relating to colonization and the war in Algeria.

On another note, Macron considered that the war between Morocco and Algeria is excluded, given the threats left by the Russian-Ukrainian war on the international community.

“The question is important. I don’t want to believe it, think it. Because neither Algeria nor Morocco are irrational powers (…) It is not possible to imagine the outbreak of an armed conflict in the Maghreb region,” said the French head of state, who wanted to be reassuring. In this sense, he pleaded for an “appeasement” of tensions between Algeria and Morocco, two rival powers in the region.

Without however specifying or revealing the substance of his thought, he will have these words: “I do not believe that war is a reality that will occur, on the other hand, I see speculation in some, fantasy in others and even the will to war in some, and I see the distance that this creates“.

So we can wonder what about the one who speculates or fantasizes or who really desires war. That said, Macron said stability in North Africa is important and necessary, ruling out the possibility of a war between the Moroccan and Algerian regimes.

In comparison with the Ukrainian conflict, Emmanuel Macron indicated that “African countries cannot support Russia in this war nor adopt a neutral position, because the question is linked to the sovereignty of States”.

“This is the consequence of a political process that comes from afar, which is also based on a powerful resentment of the Russians“, Macron will say again, referring to the non-respect of the territorial integrity of Ukraine by an “imperialist power”.

Asked, moreover, about the possibility for the Algerian president to organize a ceremony of meditation in front of the graves of hero members of the resistance to French colonialism and of the family of the Emir Abdelkader, buried in Amboise, Macron estimated that this would be “a very moment strong and a beautiful ceremony“, noting that”vsit will have a meaning in the history of the Algerian people.

On the other hand, he notes, for the Frenchit will be an opportunity to understand often hidden truths”. In these memorial questions of colonization and the Algerian war, a legacy for which the two countries sail on sight without the possibility of painless recourse, he further underlined, recalling that “the issue of apologies remains at the heart of bilateral relations and recurring tensions between the two countries”.

In 2020, Algeria had however welcomed a report by the French historian Benjamin Stora calling for a series of initiatives to try to reconcile the two countries, while excluding “repentances” and “apologies”. Still to do!

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