The Algerian president’s advisor for archives and memory, Abdel Majid El Sheikhi, said France had worked to spread illiteracy during its colonization of Algeria, and his statements came in a new chill in relations. between the two countries.
The presidential adviser – who also heads the Algerian National Archives, said in his statements which were reported by local media on Sunday – that Algeria in 1830 had an illiteracy rate of no more than 20%. Read also Algeria and France. Controversy over the writing of the history of colonial memory Did France steal the iron from the Eiffel Tower to Algeria? The statements of a French writer arouse the anger of the Algerian platforms. What did he say? The Independent: Will France compensate the Algerians for the serious damage that continues to this day for its secret nuclear experiments?
Al-Sheikhi added that “after 30 years (since the onset of French colonialism) the educated have been destroyed”, and this has come “to keep pace with the looting and looting, which is a process of metamorphosis”.
In light of the ongoing discussions on the colonial era, Sheikhi announced the organization of a “National Symposium on Future Memory”.
On the other hand, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday in an interview with the newspaper “Le Figaro” that the desire for reconciliation of memory between the French and Algerians is common, despite some rejection in Algeria, as he puts it.
“I think this desire is very common, especially with (Algerian President Abdel-Majid) Tebboune. It is true that he has to take into account a certain rejection, ”Macron said.
“The traditional and permanent enemy”
Macron called “unacceptable” a statement by Algerian Minister of Labor Hashemi Djaboub, who recently declared France to be “our traditional and permanent enemy”.
The last few weeks have witnessed similar tensions: last Monday, Paris expressed regret for the statements of Algerian government spokesman Ammar Belhimer against the French ambassador, François Goyette. Publicity
Previously, a visit by a delegation made by French Prime Minister Jean Castex at the request of Algeria had been canceled, according to the French Press Agency.
With the approach of the sixtieth anniversary of the independence of Algeria (in 1962), the French president has launched in recent months “symbolic” measures, which, according to him, were aimed at “reconciling the memory” between the two countries. .
The report by historian Benjamin Stora, which he handed to Macron last January, proposed a set of measures in this regard, but the report received a lukewarm reception in Algeria.
The advisor to the Algerian president declared that the document is “a Franco-French report and does not concern Algeria”, and declared that it had not been officially handed over to Algeria, and therefore “it does not not oblige to answer or to answer ”.
El Cheikhi, who is the director general of the National Archives, denied being tasked with writing an Algerian report on the case, according to local media.
As for discussions with France on the memory file, the official explained that “the Corona pandemic has disrupted these negotiations”.