Why the March 19th Anniversary is contested

A hard day. France will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Evian Accords and the ceasefire in Algeria on Saturday, March 19th.Emmanuel Macron proclaimed this date at a ceremony held in Elysee, inviting about 200 war witnesses (conscription, independent combatants, Archi, returnees). “It was neither the beginning of peace nor the end of war.” Re-election candidates have been added as follows: “Not only this date, it will not be denied, pushed away, or forgotten.”

Since the law of December 6, 2012, March 19 is “a day of national memory and meditation in memory of civilian and military victims of the war in Algeria and the battles in Tunisia and Morocco.” However, this date continues to be rejected between Harki and the returnees, and within some of the rights and the far right. Explanation.

On March 18, 1962, after eight years of war, representatives of France and the Provisional Government of the Algeria (GPRA) signed the Evian Accord, which recognized Paris’ independence, its territory and national integrity. France promises to gradually evacuate its troops from Algeria and establish a ceasefire at noon the next day.

However, Pied-Noir, Archi, and veterans believe that these agreements do not mark the end of the war, as violence continued until the independence of Algeria on July 5, 1962. In Algiers, French soldiers fired at dozens of demonstrators who opposed Algeria’s independence. The exact victim of this killing remains unknown to this day. On July 5, 1962, at least 700 Pied-Noir and Algerians who chose France were slaughtered in Oran in hours under the passive gaze of French troops while residents were celebrating their independence. .. As part of this, the Secret Army Organization (OAS), which refuses to ceasefire, has doubled its violence, resulting in dozens of casualties in targeted attacks and assassinations.

Since March 19, thousands of repatriated Muslims and assistants who fought with France have also been kidnapped and painfully escaped. In particular, 55,000 to 75,000 Archi are not allowed entry into France, and French culture recalls that they were victims of the slaughter and retaliation in Algeria.

“For us, this date does not mark the end of the war, but the beginning of the Haruki genocide with thousands of slaughter.”Lament Hacène Arfi, President of the Coordination Haruka Association. When 20 minutes. “The Algerian War has killed three times more than before after its” official “end! “, Blame in Le Figaro General Elberonge, President of the National Combatants Union (UNC).

In the right and the far right, the controversy will grow from 2012. Le Figaro In 2016, former Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy estimated: “Choosing a date for March 19th (…) takes into account the good and the bad of history and the bad of France.” Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi (then LR) refused to commemorate March 19th in his city. “Indescribable provocation against returnees and Archi.” In 2014, Mayor of Bézier Robert Menard (far right) decided to rename the street on March 19, 1962, to the name of a party officer in French Algeria.

Ten years later, the criticism did not stop. Presidential candidate LR, Valerie Pécrès is committed if she is chosen to find “Another date” Only on March 19th to commemorate the end of the Algerian War “80% of civilian casualties collapsed after the Evian Accords”She said Thursday.

“Clearly, March 19 does not mark the end of the Algerian War. Eighty percent of civilian casualties fell after the Evian Accords.”

Valerie Pécrès

During a trip to Neem

National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen also remembered her fight at the French Inter. “a long time” This date is “There were tens of thousands of archi who were brutally killed.” After March 19, 1962.

For historian Gilles Manceron, these criticisms “Awakening of the Colonial Project”.. “It is true that there were casualties in Algeria and France after March 19, but even if there were casualties, the OAS refused to grant independence and applied the Evian Accords.” He explained to France24 in 2016. “Since May 8, 1945, many French have been killed in the Pacific Ocean, especially in Japanese camps, which we say May 8 is the end of World War II. It doesn’t prevent you from saying. “ He remembers.

“It’s a very French-French conflict (…) we can’t stay in the memory of the community.”For his part, historian Benjamin Stra Independent.. “We cannot live forever on each other’s accusations.” In his report on the memoirs of the Algerian War given to Emmanuel Macron, he It is advisable to commemorate the various iconic dates.Among them, not only March 19th September 25 (homage to Archi) or October 17, 1961 (Repression of Algerian worker demonstrations in France).