France may have apologised for atrocities in Algeria, but the war still casts a long shadow
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, wrestled with the demons of his country's colonial past this week by acknowledging that the country carried out systematic torture during the Algerian war of independence.
After six decades of secrecy and denials, it was a historic first for a country that long refused to even admit that the brutal conflict - in which Algeria says 1.5 million died - was indeed a âwarâ.
Yet political reaction to the avowal and claims he has unnecessarily re-opened painful wounds suggest these remain deep and exert a pervasive influence in France even today.
Mr Macron, who at 40 is the first French president born after the war, went further than any of his predecessors in recognising the scale of abuse by French troops during the 1954-62 war.
He did so during a meeting with the widow of mathematician Maurice Audin, a pro-independence, French-born Communist who disappeared in Algiers in 1957.
An assistant professor at the University of Algiers, he was just 25 when he was arrested at his home and accused of housing independence fighters.Source: Google News France | Netizen 24 France