Paris Initiates Modest Steps That Don’t Encourage Bona Fide Activation Of Bilateral Relations
A month after the 68th anniversary of the glorious National Liberation Revolution, the French authorities made a decision to name a street in France after the Algerian fighter and revolutionary, late Ali Boumendjel, one of the victims of the brutal oppression of colonial France, but this decision remains a very modest step by Paris, in dealing with Memory file that puts strong pressure on relations between the two countries.
This name was demarcated on Tuesday night in the presence of the martyr’s family, in one of the city’s streets, close to another street bearing the name of a former school principal in the city, Fanny Bash, and one of the city’s former elected officials, who was born in Algeria and left after independence, in a symbolic move by the leftist who leads the city namely Jean-Pierre Blazy, for the purpose of reconciliation of memory between the two countries.
The decision is a “precedent,” said the French historian Benjamin Stora, in a letter he addressed to officials of the city of “Gonesse,” located in the northern suburbs of the French capital, Paris.
It is a decision that is considered one of the recommendations that Stora included in the report that he prepared and delivered to the Elysee Palace in January 2021, at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, in what was known as the project to calm the “war of memory” between Algeria and Paris.
In the letter, Stora talked about the torture that the late Algerian fighter was subjected to, before he was liquidated by the criminal Paul Aussares, after years of denial and distortion practiced by the French authorities against him, with the aim of distorting him, before Macron admitted last year, in the name of the French state, the responsibility of the French occupation army by liquidating him, denying the allegations of suicide falsely purported by the colonial authorities.
Benjamin Stora also wrote in the letter, “It is the first time, as far as I know, that a street in France is named after this Algerian fighter for democracy and peace, and for the independence of Algeria,” after he apologized for not being able to participate in this event, due to health considerations, as he said. He ended his letter by thanking the mayor of Gonesse, Jean-Pierre Blazy, whom he met in 2010 for the first time on the initiative of the Boumendjel family.
Stora quoted Ali Boumendjel’s son, the late Sami, as a testimony he heard from him in 2013 when Aussares died: “My father’s executioner has just died, we have only one idea: let him go to hell, where he belongs. He killed peace by killing a just man. By promoting the lie of his suicide.” To humiliate him even after his death.. This confirmed and proven executioner became a revealer of the true story of the horrendous actions of the French colonial army at that time.
This symbolic initiative came about a month after the date of the 1st of November, when the Algerian authorities were waiting for an effective step from Paris, in terms of the memory file, and it seems that Paris failed once again in the test of this sensitive file, because it was unable, sixty years after independence, despite the opportunities it had, to send a sincere message to the Algerian side, and thereby confirming its intention to deal with the memory file seriously and responsibly.
This fact reinforces Algeria’s decision not to rush to reconcile memory with France, and thus keep bilateral relations hostage to files inherited from the period of the colonial era, which confirms once again that the French president has not yet been able to liberate himself from the dreaming circles in French Algeria, and he is still shackled, despite the fact that he is from the generation of independence, as he says about himself and others who present him as such.