Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

'We sell dreams, passion,' says French Open's Guy Forget

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or is it just a misunderstanding?

Read more

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2012-03-27

The open scars of the French-Algerian war

Algeria is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence from France. However, half a century after the Evian Accords officially ended combat, both French and Algerians still ache from the wounds left by the war.

On March 19 both Algerians and the French are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ceasefire that put an end to the French-Algerian war. The accords signed in the eastern French city of Evian in 1962 are now a half-century old, but many people on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea are still struggling to find peace.

“It was the colonists' fault,” argues Rabah Mahiout, a former member of the National Liberation Front (FLN) that operated in France. “It was the FLN that began attacking the French,” retorts Guy Pujante, a former member of the Organisation de l'armée secrète, a far-right terrorist group that fought against Algerian independence.

Lakhdar Bouregaa, a former member of the National Liberation Army–the FLN’s armed wing– still recalls the Algerian villages that were burned down with napalm by the French army. Vivian Pinto still cries when she thinks of her father, Joseph Pinto, a French salesman who had his throat slit in the city of Oran before being thrown into a furnace. Forced into exile in 1962, she waited 42 years to find out what happened to her father who was listed simply as missing until records were declassified in 2004.

Many are still looking for answers and question the years of secrecy and silence. Farida, the daughter of Ahmed Belous, who was killed in the eastern Algerian city of Guelma in 1945, acknowledges that "many lies were told to us throughout history". Viviane Pinto may not know it, but she shares the same point of view with Farida. She criticises the French leaders she says continue to hide the truth. "They probably have much to be ashamed about,” Pinto says.

Supporters of free Algeria and those nostalgic for French Algeria share much more in common than they realise. Overcoming the silence that has divided the two countries for 50 years, may be the first step in healing their open scars.

Watch the full documentary by FRANCE 24’s Adel Gastel.

By Adel GASTEL

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-05-25 May 68

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

In France, May 1968 has become a symbol of young people and workers in revolt. But how were the events viewed outside the country? FRANCE 24 looks back at the international...

Read more

2018-05-18 Middle East

Beyond the conflict: Reporter's notebook in modern-day Israel

Israel regularly makes headlines, but there is more to the country than the conflict with the Palestinians. FRANCE 24 reports from a young but highly developed nation, a holy...

Read more

2018-05-11 Middle East

Video: Stateless in Palestine

What does life in the West Bank look like under Israeli occupation? Our reporters travelled to Area C, to meet the women and men who live on lands coveted by Israeli settlers....

Read more

2018-04-27 France

Video: The Foreign Legion, another French exception

Shrouded in mystery and prestige, the French Foreign Legion is just as feared by its enemies as it is envied by its allies. The legionnaires come from across the world, prepared...

Read more

2018-04-20 Africa

Africa’s donkeys slaughtered for Chinese ‘miracle elixir’

Every year, China slaughters millions of donkeys to make Ejiao, a traditional medicine hailed as a ‘miracle elixir’ which is used to treat various ailments. As China’s donkey...

Read more