This Monday at a few days of September 25, day of national homage to the Harkis, President Emmanuel Macron will organize a ceremony at the Élysée pay homage to the harkis and auxiliaries who fought alongside the French Army during the Algerian War, from 1954 to 1962.
Some 300 people, notably from Harkis associations, from the ” memory “,” veterans », Were invited to the event. Indeed, the wish of French President Emmanuel Macron is to, “Take a new step” in the “Recognition of the breach that was made to the Harkis but also to the failure of the French Republic to its own values ” . The French Head of State according to the Elysee has called to open the “repair site”. It is a rather rare initiative and one which deserves to be noted that this tribute to those who served France and who for many were abandoned.
It is noticed that 61 years later history seems to repeat itself with Afghanistan. “The Harkis” are these former combatants – up to 200,000 men – recruited as auxiliaries to the French army during the Algerian war of independence (1954-1962) which opposed Algerian nationalists to France. At the end of this war, the Harkis were abandoned by France and many of them were victims of retaliatory massacres in Algeria after independence. Between 60,000 and 70,000 thousand harkis found themselves within the reach of their Algerian torturers and were tortured and massacred. While several tens of thousands of them, sometimes accompanied by women and children, were transferred to France by the army and transited between 1962 and 1965 for the majority in “transit and reclassification camps», With undignified and lasting traumatic living conditions.
In 1962, Algeria had its independence and if some Harkis or auxiliary soldiers who fought for France for nearly ten years were parked in the six transit camps in France, a large majority did not have the authorization to come to France. The French government at the time had banned it when everyone knew that the FLN (National Liberation Front) would not respect the Evian agreements prohibiting, among other things, reprisals against those who had served France. Since, there have been various compensation procedures installed over time delivered drop by drop since 1965 and it was not until September 25, 2016, that President François Hollande recognized the “responsibility” of the Republic ” in the abandonment of the Harkis “.
For his successor, President Macron, it will be a question of going on Monday, “beyond what the Republic has already done“And make a”new step” in “direction of harki memory bearers“.