The Presidential Adviser in charge of archives and national memory, Mr. Abdelmadjid Chikhi said that if the French government will not follow up on Algeria’s claims, Algeria would then reserve the right to appeal to international arbitration.
Algeria does not intend to relinquish its desire to recover the archives and material heritage that were taken from it during the colonial period and which, on the French side, persists in blocking access.
Speaking on Tuesday on the program “the Guest of the Newsroom” of Channel 3 of Algerian Radio, the presidential adviser in charge of archives and national memory, Abdelmadjid Chikhi, considers that all the heritage that was stolen by France during the 132 years of brutal colonization of Algeria, “must be returned to it.
For him, all the archives, historical and cultural objects relating to the history of the country and illegally transferred by the occupier to France, must be returned to it, noting, in this regard, a “resistance” by the latter to comply with the requests reiterated many times by the Algerian State.
Chikhi noted that the contacts initiated to resolve this issue tend to “drag on”, observing that when Algerian researchers go to their French counterparts for discussions, “they remain on their hunger pangs”.
Noting a “visceral resistance” to respond to Algeria’s legitimate request to regain control of its heritage, he nevertheless noted “a certain willingness” on the part of the other party, which could lead to “happier” results. But, he tempered, we have not advanced because of the adverse situation spawned by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Regarding the historian Benjamin Stora, who in charge of leading the discussions on the French side, he noted a frame of mind that could, according to the speaker, “help facilitate a dialogue, which should resume soon”.
Among the archives requested by Algeria, Mr Chikhi also mentioned those relating to the devastating French nuclear tests carried out in the Algerian Sahara, which resulted in particular in indelible traces on the inhabitants of this region and their environment.