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Algeria celebrates 60 years of independence from France

#Algeria #celebrates #years #independence #France

Algeria celebrates 60 years of independence from France with a huge military parade on Tuesday, but memories of colonial-era violence continue to overshadow relations between the two.

The North African country gained its independence after a grueling eight-year war that ended in March 1962 with the signing of the Evian Accords.

On July 5 of that year, days after a 99.72 percent vote for independence in a referendum, Algeria finally broke away from colonial rule — but memories of the 132-year occupation continue to taint its ties with France.

Authorities closed a 10-mile (16-kilometer) stretch of a major artery in Algiers on Friday to allow the army to conduct final rehearsals for its parade, the first in 33 years.

The lockdown has caused huge traffic jams on roads leading to the capital’s eastern suburbs.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune will lead the parade and will receive several foreign dignitaries including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Tunisia’s Kais Saied and Nigeria’s Mohamed Bazoum.

The government even commissioned a logo – a circle of 60 stars with military figures and equipment – to mark “a glorious history and a new era”.

Algeria’s war of independence left hundreds of thousands dead in its wake, but six decades later, despite a series of gestures by French President Emmanuel Macron, France has ruled out any form of apology for the colonial era.

“There is no way we can forget or erase the genocide of people, the cultural genocide and the genocide of identity that colonial France is guilty of,” Salah Goudjil, speaker of the upper house of Algeria’s parliament, said in a statement released by the newspaper L’Expression published the interview Monday.

Franco-Algerian relations hit rock bottom late last year after Macron reportedly questioned whether Algeria had existed as a nation before the French invasion and accused its “politico-military system” of rewriting history and “hatred of France.” “ to stoke.

In response, Algeria withdrew its ambassador, but relations between the two sides seem to have improved since then.

Macron and Tebboune confirmed their desire to “deepen” ties in a June 18 phone call, and Tebboune invited his French counterpart to visit Algiers.

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#Algeria #celebrates #years #independence #France

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