France discusses a law to recognize the Harki tragedy

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France FranceOn Thursday, French MPs began discussions on a bill recognizing the “Harki tragedy” and asking forgiveness from those Algerians who fought alongside Paris against their country in the fight against the French occupation. This group is accused in Algeria of treason while blaming France for treating them inappropriately. The French authorities abandoned between 55,000 and 75,000 of them after the French army left Algeria in 1962, and some of them were subjected to reprisals by Algerians who considered them traitors.

This passage constitutes a legislative translation of a speech delivered by French President Emmanuel Macron on 20 September at the Elysée in front of representatives of this category. By law, Macron goes beyond previous presidents since Jacques Chirac, recognizing France’s debt to these men and their families. For the first time, Macron asked for forgiveness in a rare and essential passage in the context of the Algerian conflict, a hot topic on both sides of the Mediterranean, as evidenced by the recent disputes between Paris and Algeria, after controversial statements by Emmanuel Macron on the Algerian nation. That is a dark page in the history of France.

The bill includes symbolic and other practical steps. It recognizes the services rendered in Algeria by former members of support formations who served France and then abandoned them during the independence process of this country. Between 1954 and 1962, up to 200,000 Harkis were recruited as auxiliaries to the French army. The text also recognizes the inadequate reception conditions for the 90,000 Harkis and their families who fled Algeria after its independence. About half of them were relocated to set up camps and villages, especially, Darius said. The bill provides compensation for this damage, an amount that considers the length of stay in these facilities.

Compensation for the Harki and their families

The compensation includes “former Harki fighters and their wives who were received after 1962 in inadequate conditions, as well as their children who came with them or were born here,” according to the bill’s rapporteur, Patricia Morales, who belongs to the party of President Emmanuel Macron. In the draft budget for the year 2022, fifty million euros were allocated for the disbursement of compensation. However, we expect it to be decided by six thousand files by 2022, Miracles added, saying she would push for the amendment “the compensation does not currently cover the inclusion of specific cases.”

In 2018, a solidarity fund of 40 million euros was established over four years descendants of the Harki; The bill includes measures in favor of the widows of these veterans. Furthermore, the establishment of a committee is expected to contribute to the collection and transmission of the memory of activists and their families and deliberate on requests for compensation.

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