Criticism of interference returns tirelessly to the ranks of the Algerian opposition. France would secretly support the power in place and the regime of Abdelmadjid Tebboune, supposed to ensure the post-Bouteflika transition.
New illustration this weekend. In an interview published Friday by the weekly Young Africa, Emmanuel Macron praised the “courage” of the Algerian president – hospitalized in Germany after having contracted the new coronavirus – and promised to “do everything possible to help him” in the “transition period” that the country is going through.
It did not take more to weld an opposition yet fractured on a good number of internal issues. Emmanuel “Macron believes himself authorized to distribute certificates of legitimacy to the leaders of the natives that we are”, for example condemned the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), one of the main parties of the secular opposition.
“This influence goes so far as to confuse cooperation and interference”
This ultra-sensitive debate around Franco-Algerian relations is inherent in colonial history. But it has returned to the first since the emergence of the citizen movement of Hirak in February 2019. Born of an immense fed up with Algerians, the “Hirak” calls for a profound change in the political “system” in place since the independence in 1962. He does not believe in the “transition” currently being carried out, which he considers influenced or even piloted by certain foreign powers, first and foremost France.
Karim Tebbou, figure of this anti-regime protest movement, quoted by the French-speaking daily El Watan, described official France as “racist”. “A France that does not want to accept that in this country can emerge democratic forces, an emancipated youth”, ruled Mr. Tebbou, detained for nine months before parole on July 2.
The main Islamist party, the Mouvement de la société pour la paix (MSP), for its part blasted a France in “retreat” on the international scene, which “feels no embarrassment in reviving its old habits of interfering in the internal affairs of its former colonies ”.
The press itself is harsh. Paris “weighs heavily on the regional space to which Algeria is a part (…). Sometimes this influence goes so far as to confuse cooperation and interference, ”writes the French-speaking daily Liberté, close to the opposition. “Today, he gives us a pure extract of neocolonial thought,” laments the columnist of Liberty, Mustapha Hammouche. The Arabic-language newspaper El Khabar wonders again whether Algeria will accept a “reconciliation” without a prior apology for the crimes committed during colonization, which President Tebboune requested.
The question of memory at the heart of tensions
Beyond the economic (gas contracts), geopolitical (tensions in the Sahel and Libya) or migratory issues, the question of memory is fundamental to understanding the passionate relations between the two countries. In December 2017 in Algiers, Mr. Macron pledged to return the skulls of Algerians stored since the 19th century in the collections of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris.
The same year, but before his election, he had qualified, also in the Algerian capital, the colonization of Algeria as a “crime against humanity”, attracting criticism from right-wing French officials.
Mr. Macron and Tebboune each appointed an expert – respectively Benjamin Stora and Abdelmadjid Chikhi – to work on the memory of colonization and the Algerian war, with the aim of “promoting reconciliation”. Mr. Stora is due to submit a report on this issue to Mr. Macron in December.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr