Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Can I Use Efudix On My Face?

May 8, 1945: end of a war,
beginning of another?

Surrender of Germany and the end of World War II, it is surely the first thing that comes to mind for most people, mainly Europeans of course. As regards the Algerians, they hold above all the massacres of Setif, Guelma and Kherrata in Constantine. While a war just ended, another looks likely this May 8, 1945: the independence of Algeria.

View of Setif during the colonial era
I / A ruthless repression

A / Background and origins of drama

The prestige of the France as a colonial power has been weakened with the defeat of 1940, then during the Allied landings in November 1942, when the United States released en masse the Atlantic Charter, a document that condemns colonialism. The hostility of the Americans vis-à-vis the French colonial presence has strengthened the nationalist claims that are then represented by Messali Hajj, the head of the main nationalist movement Algeria (Algerian People's Party, PPP) and Ferhat Abbas, leader of Friends of the Manifesto and Liberty (AML). The latter defends an independent Algeria more or less associated with France.

On March 7, 1944, the Provisional Government in Algiers issue an order granting citizenship French Muslims to 60 000 but the separatist PPP and AML consider this gesture very inadequate and tardy. They hope so much from the first meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, April 29, 1945.

But Messali Hajj was arrested in April 1945 and deported 23 in Brazzaville (capital of the Republic of Congo), shortly after being appointed as the leader of the Algerian people in the Congress MLAs. This provocative French authorities met with dismay among the Muslims that multiply nationalist demonstrations in favor his release.
On 1 May in Algiers, a manifestation of the Underground PPP is organized. For the first time the flag of independence, the standard green and white hit the star and crescent, is flown in public. Several deaths have been reported.
May 8, Armistice Day, the same scenario repeats itself. But this time is more brutal repression.

B / May 8

The May 8, 1945, in Setif, the Algerian nationalists PPA (Algerian People's Party, banned) Messali of Hajj (in residence supervised) and AML (Friends of the Manifesto and Liberty) Ferhat Abbas organize a parade to celebrate the fall of Nazi Germany and claim the right to liberty.
Do not forget that this victory over the Third Reich and fascism have contributed to the Allied side-Soviets, Americans and English for the most part - many "indigenous" black from Africa and Maghreb, enlisted in the regular French army. Colonized, these fighters hoped their nations would also benefit from this hard-won freedom out of colonial status and become citizens of their own homeland.
the day of the capitulation of the Third Reich, ceremonies are planned in Algeria as elsewhere in France. Activists to receive instructions not to carry weapons, and to show the Algerian flag. The flags are allies in the lead. During the parade, carrying banners with slogans such as "Free Messali", "Long live Algeria free and independent," "Down with fascism and colonialism" are deployed.
But in Constantine, the drama.
A Setif, the procession visiting the memorial is experiencing a terrible melee.
Everything went wrong when a young scout named Saal Bouzid refuses to lower the Algerian flag he carries, he is shot by a policeman. This triggers a riot. The angry demonstrators turned against the French and in a few hours 28 deaths among Europeans, including the mayor who tried to intervene.
The movement spread rapidly. The same day, Guelma (sub-prefecture of the same farm that Constantine account for 14 409 3346 European Muslims), the peaceful demonstration organized by the nationalist militants, Algerian flags and allies in mind, is arrested by the sub-prefect Andre Achiary (a former policeman who end up in terrorist movements-cons) that blocks the procession going to the war memorial and requires be thrown Algerian flags waved together with the tricolor flag.
Suddenly, he pulls out his gun and fires into the air. Immediately the gendarmes and police officers followed suit. A Muslim is killed. This creates a panic. But unlike in Setif, there are no riots and no European was killed. Achiary orders the curfew is arming the militia and settlers. It lists the Muslims "to judge", ie to eliminate. His victims will number in the dozens. The goal is to remove any Arab can play an important political or economic.
All performances take place on order of the sub-prefect (repression is overseen by General Duval, commander of the division of Constantine) without further trial, the bodies are dissolved in quicklime. Algerians are thrown alive from a height of 300-400 meters in the gorge Kerrata. In addition, a Muslim officer (one of the few army French who do realize that a hundred) commits suicide "can not stand this show."

C / human toll of the massacre

The official law enforcement operations, as the French government is arbitrarily set to 1500, prompting disbelief.
What is incontestable is that these massacres were several thousand victims, probably not as much as 45,000 deplored Algerian officials in speeches, but probably between 15 and 20 000. The vagueness of this data also shows that these massacres have been violent and hateful. Efforts to remove their tracks now make it impossible for a human toll a little bit specific. In this bloody event, historians today see the prologue to what would be the war Algeria.

II / The recognition of the massacre

The relationship between the two countries has been lopsided since 1830 by the French conquest and colonization, and again gravely disturbed by the rebellions and repressions , first in May 1945 and from 1954 to 1962. However, independence Algeria's accepted by France in 1962 seemed to de-escalate, which had been realized until 1990.
But the progress of history has been increasingly disrupted, Algeria and France, by the resurgence of historical memory and its use in internal political struggles, from the sudden transformation of the Algerian political life.

A / From 1990 to today: the return of memory

memory of May 8, 1945, concerning the massacres of Setif and Guelma, has long been hidden in France when she was exalted by the Algerian nationalists.
In 1990 the foundation was established on 8 May 1945 by the former Minister Bashir Boumaza , native Kerrata north of Setif.

The foundation has set itself the objective of "reacting against forgetting and revive the memory, demonstrating that the Setif massacre was a crime against humanity and not a war crime as the French say," to "Moral obtain compensation. Thus, history has been mobilized in the service of memory and politics instead of being recognized as a specific goal.

President Bouteflika chose the first path, suggesting an act of repentance to France in his speech of June 15, 2000 at the French National Assembly: "Whether you go out [...] dungeons, the unsaid, the War of Algeria, by references to its name, or your educational institutions are trying to rectify, in textbooks, sometimes distorted image of some episodes of colonization is an important step in the work of truth that you have undertaken for the benefit of historical knowledge and the cause of gender equity men ".
Former President Jacques Chirac has long pretended not to have understood the request but the negotiation of a treaty of friendship between France and Algeria seems to have made a condition imperative on the Algerian side.
February 27, 2005, speech at Setif by Ambassador of France seemed to make a first concession to the French Algerian demand, less than a week after the passage of a law positive memorial in memory of French and French Muslims from Algeria. Besides a process of Franco-Algerian tending to the signing of a treaty of friendship was started, but has not yet been successful. Contrary to what was announced in 2005 was that of disappointment, and 2006 did not seem best part.

B / A treaty of friendship between France and Algeria?

Diplomatic history of Franco-Algerian relations and the future treaty is not easy to do, because of its confidentiality. We know, however, that the Franco-Algerian was first translated by the decision to the year 2003 the year of Algeria in France bring the two peoples before bringing the two states.
A little over a year after the visit of former President Jacques Chirac in 2003, it returned to visit his Algerian counterpart, President Bouteflika, to congratulate him on his victory, April 15, 2004.

Then events accelerated. Indeed, Mr. Chirac announced the signing of a treaty of Franco-Algerian inspired by the Franco-German treaty the following year. On the other hand he wanted to end the "war" between France and Algeria by the French law giving satisfaction to the main material and moral claims of all returnees.

the Algerian side, President Bouteflika met his French counterpart in terms of carefully chosen: "This sacrifice was not in vain as it led ultimately to the end of the era of colonialism and permissions all those countries that had contributed troops to participate in these battles and releases that have crowned, in turn access to independence and finally find freedom. "
Under the "outlook born of historic journey made by the President of the Republic in Algeria ", the Raffarin government had filed March 10, 2004 a bill" for the recognition of the Nation and a national contribution for the French repatriated. "This project is devoted only one article memorial to their demands and the five following items to additional compensation.

But this does not last long. In fact, after much criticism in the French and Algerian government, a new version, December 16, 2004 , was passed by the Senate. Finally, February 10, 2005, the National Assembly adopted without modification the text as amended by the Senate, which became the Act of February 23, 2005.

C / The contradiction between the policies of France memorial

The law of February 23, 2005 immediately provoked a challenge from lawyer Thierry

and Bars the historian Claude Liauzu. They and other historians denounced Article 4, which corresponded to university research programs in school curricula [...], [...]. Then drew the inference that it called into question the neutrality and respect for academic freedom thought that is at the heart of secularism. Since this article was repealed.
But Algerians reacted. Indeed, on May 8, President Bouteflika sharp rise in the tone of his speech to commemorate Setif: "The massacres of May 8, 1945 they were the rewards for having defended heroically Algerians in France [...] Who does remembers the shame furnaces installed by the occupier in the region [...] Guelma? These ovens were identical to the Nazi crematoria. This is the first time since independence that the Algerian state formally requests the French State recognize its colonial crimes and ask forgiveness for the suffering imposed on the Algerian people.

In late 2006, the draft treaty Franco-Algerian , presented by the French government in 2004 as natural, seems adjourned for an unforeseeable time. For those who knew the history of Algerian claim of repentance from France since 1990, this failure at least temporarily not surprising: what is surprising is the excessive optimism displayed by the French in 2004 and its apparent unawareness of the contradiction between the law of February 23, 2005 and claim Algerian President Bouteflika that was from May 8, 2005 the mandatory condition to the treaty.
This condition is acceptable? The signing of a treaty unilaterally Will there be much further than the bilateral agreements of Evian? It is for policy and French citizens to decide from a more serious and more lucid than the one they had or had not, so far on this important issue.

Work done by Justine Ghizlaine

-Article The World:
Monday, May 9, 2005 - Historia No. 695, November 2004-Article
Liberation Saturday 7 and Sunday, May 8, 2005
- History No. 318, March 2007

Evidence-Aziz Bedaoud (for the second part)


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