The National Mujahideen Organization rejected on Monday an offer by French President Emmanuel Macron to reconcile with Algiers over Paris’ colonial past in Algeria instead of making an official apology for its crimes in the country.
Acting secretary general of the organization, which includes Algerian independence war veterans, said: “Reconciliation was not possible because there can be no peace between the victim and the executioner.”
The French “want us to forget the pain of colonization,” he added. “The majority of Algerians refuse to abandon their rights and forget the massacres of colonization.”
By rights, he meant the demands of Algerians for France to pay compensation for its killing and displacement of Algerians and its looting of its property and wealth throughout 123 years of occupation.
In an interview with a French publication last week, Macron said that France had “offered a lot to Algeria”, referring to his previous statements on its colonial history.
He had described the occupation as ugly, but opted for “reconciliation between the memories” of Algeria and France of their shared history instead of offering an apology.
Macron claimed that Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune shared his position.
The National Mujahideen Organization rejected any agreement between Macron and Tebboune over reconciliation without an apology.
It also addressed Algiers’ demand that Paris hand over its archives on the colonization.
It said it “cannot do so because that will expose its crimes in Algeria and strike at the core of the values of liberty, equality and fraternity that it boasts about.”