French President Emmanuel Macron defended historian Benjamin Stora’s report on “The Memory of Colonialism and the Algerian War” which he received from him on January 21st 2021.
According to a statement published by the French Presidency’s Elysée website, Macron renewed, in the latest phone call he had with the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, on Saturday, February 20th, his assertion of what he described as “the quality of Benjamin Stora’s report and the importance of the recommendations it proposed”.
The French President expressed to President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, “his desire to continue work on the memory file and the recognition of truth and reconciliation between Algeria and France,” according to the Elysée statement.
On January 21st, the French historian Benjamin Stora conveyed to French President Emmanuel Macron his report on memory containing 22 proposals to restore the relationship between France and Algeria on pending issues.
The report of Benjamin Stora was subjected to great criticism from the Algerians after neglecting a major demand, which is France’s apology for its horrendous crimes during the colonial period in Algeria, and its focus on marginal aspects such as organizing joint celebrations and honoring historical figures from the two countries.
The Minister of Communication, the government’s official spokesman, Ammar Belhimer, had said that Stora’s report on the memory file was “below expectations and subjective”, as he put it.
The government spokesman referred to President Tebboune’s frank position on this outstanding file, saying on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the heinous massacres of May 8, 1945, “Our history will remain at the forefront of the preoccupations of the new Algeria and the preoccupations of its youth, and we will never neglect it in our foreign relations”.
The minister explained that “organizations, experts, academics, national figures, and even some French honest people were unanimous in rejecting the Stora report, because it came without expectations and was not objective, as it equates between the victim and the executioner and denies all historical facts, and ignores the legitimate demands of Algeria, foremost among which is France’s official recognition of appalling war crimes as well as the crimes against humanity that it committed during its brutal occupation of Algeria for a century and 32 years of time”.