Mujahideen Minister: “French Genocide in Algeria Resembles the Zionist Genocide in Palestine”
The memory of the Holocaust of Laghouat (southern Algeria) and the great popular resistance reminds us of the sacrifices of heroes who destroyed the pride of the colonizers, the Minister of Mujahideen and People with Rights, Laid Rebigua, said here on Monday during his supervision of the ceremony to commemorate the 171st memory of the Holocaust of Laghouat (December 4, 1852).
The Mujahideen Minister explained; “This occasion brings us together with the covenant of generations to preserve their memory, and there is no covenant or promise more firmly established in the conscience than a covenant written with ink of blood, which is the blood of the righteous martyrs.”
“Today we commemorate the 171st tribute of the Laghouat Holocaust, and we can only stand in awe, reverence and dignity, and remember the sacrifices of generations of our ancestors who dedicated themselves through hard struggle and arduous fight to free the homeland, realizing that sacrifice, steadfastness and martyrdom are the price for us to live independent on our land”, the minister Rebigua added.
“The wilaya of Laghouat is the national and spiritual capital and a citadel of our Algeria’s revolution against colonialism, which chose from among its righteous sons great martyrs whose blood watered the homeland, and mujahideen who continued the covenant and preserved the trust so that Algeria would live free and independent”, he confirmed.
He went on to say: “For 132 years, colonialism resorted in Algeria to a comprehensive war of extermination that exceeded all limits of atrocity and barbarism, relying on plunder, destruction, sabotage and massacres against the defenseless population using arson, genocide, and physical liquidation,” stressing that the Laghouat Holocaust is one of the reprehensible colonial crimes agianst humanity, where the colonizers exterminated two-thirds of the population of the city of Laghouat and its environs.
“The same scenes of colonial ugliness that the Algerian people experienced are being repeated today in sisterly Palestine, revealing the shameful face of the Zionist entity with its political maneuvers and settlement and displacement goals, and that our proud people stands proudly and honorably with the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he asserted.
In the same context, Rebigua recalled that the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, stressed in his message on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that Algeria, which paid a high price to restore its sovereignty and independence and whose land witnessed the declaration of the establishment of the Palestinian state 35 years ago, will remain committed to supporting liberation issues and will not give up an effort to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people so that they obtain their full and undiminished rights.
Specialists specified that the Laghouat genocide was considered “the first massacre committed using chemical weapons (Chloroform) in the world against civilians from Laghouat (southern Algeria), before putting them in bags and burning or burying them while they were still alive”.
The chemical bombardment exterminated, in a few days, two thirds of the inhabitants of Laghouat who, from then on, the city fell into the hands of the French colonizers.
Previously, the jurist and lawyer, Fatma Zohra Benbraham explained that, from a legal point of view, the use of chemical weapons in Laghouat in 1852 could be nothing other than a massacre and an imprescriptible crime against humanity, specifying that this massacre, like the genocides perpetrated during colonization, would require legal action on an international scale.
It is not possible, in this case -she added- to qualify the facts in question as a battle, because “the battle, from a legal point of view, is fought between two armies, even if disproportionate”.
The lawyer highlighted the imperative coordination between historians and human rights defenders to act at the level of competent international bodies, in particular the International Court of Justice.
She also called on the country’s high authorities to shine a light on the life of Laghouat resistance leader Benchohra Bennacer and to restitute his skull with a view to bury them in his hometown.
The expert in nuclear affairs, Merzak Remki, pleaded for “the adoption of a clear approach towards France which should assume its historical responsibilities with regard to exterminations or other crimes against humanity”, emphasizing “the importance of declassifying the colonial archives relating to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons used in Algeria, like the French archives of nuclear tests in Polynesia”.
The nuclear engineering researcher, Dr Amar Mansouri looked back on the chronology of the use of chemical weapons in Algeria since the bombing of Laghouat with chloroform prohibited by the international community.
“French colonization had committed numerous crimes against the Algerian people and has not hesitated, since 1830, to use prohibited weapons,” said the expert.
To rightly describe the atrocity of the massacres committed on December 4, 1852, by colonial France against civilians using chemical weapons, the Laghouat genocide is described in common parlance as “the year of the Khalia or the Chekara” (extermination or sacks), and has since remained forever engraved in Algerian popular memory.