French Cmmitment Twards Plynesia… and ignring Algeria’s Legitimate Demands!
During his recent visit t French Plynesia, French President Emmanuel Macrn annunced that the French state bears respnsibility fr the nuclear explsins in this regin, and prmised transparency in studying this file similar t the issue f French nuclear tests in suthern Algeria.
Macrn said, “I bear (respnsibility) and want truth and transparency with yu,” stressing that the victims f these nuclear tests shuld receive greater cmpensatin, stressing that “the natin wes it t French Plynesia. This debt is due t the fact that it hsted these tests, especially between 1966 and 1974.” “.
Algeria and Plynesia are similar in that they are victims f ne crime and ne criminal, and it is the French state that carried ut nuclear explsins n tw defenseless peples, but it seems that the handling f this issue by the French President is different between the tw victims, as Paris refuses t make any prgress in the matter, fr reasns that seem t be differently understandable.
Since his arrival at the Elysee Palace, the French president has rejected any idea f a public and pen fficial discussin n the matter, and insisted n keeping ut f sight and ut f cameras, as the Algerian authrities have been demanding fr decades.
The psitin f the Algerian authrities regarding this sensitive file, was expressed by many fficials, mst recently the frmer Minister f Mujahideen, Tayeb Zituni, when he said: “They (meaning the French) want t deal with the file with the greatest degree f cnfidentiality. They d nt want t deal with the file transparently.”
Accrding t the frmer minister, the file f the French nuclear explsins in suthern Algeria is “mre sensitive than memry”, which made him express his regret that “the French authrities still insist n treating the nuclear tests file with the utmst secrecy, despite the many attempts made by Jurists and assciatins f victims f French nuclear tests in Algeria, wh wrked t pen the archives f bth cuntries, at least t identify radiactive sites.
Amng the utstanding prblems in this multidimensinal file, is that “the French side refuses t hand ver tpgraphic maps that make it pssible t determine the burial sites f plluting, radiactive r chemical waste, which have nt been discvered s far,” accrding t Tayeb Zituni, and this was cndemned by the Algerian authrities.
Algeria had demanded the delivery f maps f the basements cntaining nuclear waste, as a result f the French nuclear explsins, because btaining the test map “is likely t allw Algeria t take the necessary preventive measures t prtect the envirnment and the ppulatin, fr fear f expsure t the remaining radiatin in the areas cncerned.”
The frmer Minister f Mujahideen was nt the nly ne wh asked the French party t assume its respnsibilities. Rather, the Chief f Staff f the Peple’s Natinal Army, Lieutenant-General Said Chanegriha, had asked his French cunterpart t “assume respnsibility fr the rehabilitatin f the Reggane and Ain Eker sites, and t restre the tpgraphic maps that allw the burial sites t be lcated.”
Undiscvered s far, these areas are cntaminated with radiactive r chemical waste”, a request that the French have nt yet respnded t.
In the face f the deafening French silence, President Abdelmadjid Tebbune als entered the line in his dialgue with Le Pint magazine, when he called n “France t address the file f nuclear test victims”, surprising the French and internatinal silence n this issue, at a time when the wrld did what it shuld in anther issue, similarly is Chernbyl, in Ukraine.
The questin here is, why is the French president cmmitted t transparency and cmpensatin fr the residents f French Plynesia, but he ignres the repeated legitimate Algerian demands, and refuses cmpensatin t the Algerian victims despite the existence f a law regulating this issue, which is Mran’s law?
Acknwledging that this sensitive issue affected “trust” between Papeete and Paris, President Macrn annunced that the victims f these tests, sme f whm suffer frm cancer, shuld be better cmpensated.
Emmanuel Macrn said n 27 July in Papeete that France had “a debt” t French Plynesia fr having carried ut nearly 200 nuclear tests in the Pacific fr 30 years, until 1996.
“I assume and I want the truth and transparency with yu,” said the head f state, addressing Plynesian fficials n the last day f his first visit t the vast archipelag.
He acknwledged that this sensitive issue was affecting “trust” between Papeete and Paris, and annunced that the victims f these tests, sme f whm are suffering frm cancer, shuld be better cmpensated.
“The natin wes a debt t French Plynesia. This debt is the fact f having hsted these tests, in particular thse between 1966 and 1974, which can in n way be said t have been clean,” he said, t applause frm the audience.
After cnducting 17 nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara, France transferred its test range t French Plynesia in 1966, n the atlls f Murura and Fangataufa, where it carried ut 193 new tests ver 30 years, first atmspheric, then undergrund.
The last ne tk place n 27 January 1996 after President Jacques Chirac decided t resume firing despite the mratrium decided three years earlier by his predecessr, Françis Mitterrand.
“I want t tell yu clearly that the sldiers wh did it did nt lie t yu. They tk the same risks,” said Emmanuel Macrn.
But, he added, “I think it’s true that we wuldn’t have dne these same tests in Creuse r Brittany. We did it here because it was further away, because it was lst in the middle f the Pacific.
Hwever, he said he “fully assumed” and defended the chice made by General de Gaulle and then cntinued by his successrs t equip France with nuclear weapns, particularly t prtect French Plynesia.
In his speech, the President did nt mentin the wrd “frgiveness” which was demanded by victims’ assciatins r the pr-independence leader scar Temaru, wh initiated a demnstratin that brught tgether several thusand peple in the streets f Papeete n 18 July. “There is n prgress in this speech, nly demaggy (…) The lies f the State cntinue”, regretted Father Auguste Uebe-Carlsn, president f the assciatin 193, n the Plynesia 1ere channel
But the president f Plynesia, the autnmist Eduard Fritsch, was pleased that Emmanuel Macrn wanted “finally that the truth is put n the table” after “25 years f silence”.
Emmanuel Macrn decrated with numerus necklaces f flwers and shells n his arrival n the Manihi atll in French Plynesia
n the sensitive issue f cmpensatin, Emmanuel Macrn annunced an imprvement in the prcessing f files while the number f peple cmpensated fr having cntracted radiatin-induced diseases remains “particularly lw”, accrding t the Minister f verseas France Sébastien Lecrnu.