Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa: 20 children killed in bus crash near Pretoria

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

An Election in the Shadow of Terror

Read more

#TECH 24

How fintech is helping the unbanked

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Turning up the heat with French firefighters

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Champs-Elysées attack: What impact on Sunday's French election? (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

After Brexit and Trump: World waits on French presidential election (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

After Champs-Élysées attack, security takes centre stage in election campaign

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Brexit: Come what May

Read more

France

Sarkozy admits France abandoned Algerian loyalists

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-14

French President Nicolas Sarkozy formally admitted Saturday that France failed in its duty to the pro-French Algerians who emigrated to France after the Algerian war of independence. He said France should "admit the mistakes it has made."

AFP - President Nicolas Sarkozy formally admitted Saturday that France failed in its duty towards the Algerian loyalists who fought on Paris' side in their country's war of independence.

Around 60,000 pro-French Algerians, known as "harkis", came to France after the war, but approximately as many again were abandoned to face bloody reprisals in Algeria at the hands of their pro-independence countrymen.

"France should have protected the harkis from history, it did not do so. France bears this historic responsibility, and it is this reponsibility that I have come here to recognise," Sarkozy said in the southern city of Perpignan.

"France should, as it has always done, look history in the face and admit the mistakes it has made. In this instance, nothing can explain and nothing can excuse our abandoning of those who chose the side of France," he said.

Today, the harkis and their descendants represent around 500,000 people in France, many of them still living in poverty, and making up a sizable pool of possible voters in next week's French presidential election.

Sarkozy's main opponent in his re-election battle is the Socialist Party's Francois Hollande, who has already promised to accept France's guilt if he is elected in the two-round vote, to be held on April 22 and May 6.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the accords that brought the Algerian War of Independence to an end, and so the withdrawal of the French colonial administration and French and harki forces.

Date created : 2012-04-14

  • ALGERIA

    Algerians dismayed at overlooked war history

    Read more

  • ALGERIA DOCUMENTARY

    The open scars of the French-Algerian war

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France remembers the Algerian War, 50 years on

    Read more

COMMENT(S)