A commission of French and Algerian historians set up to work on French colonization and the war is due to meet on Wednesday, November 22, in Constantine, in Algeriafor the first time since its creation in August 2022, according to a source close to the matter.
The establishment of this ten-member body was announced in Algiers by French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. The idea is to approach the subject “without taboo, with a desire (…) for complete access to our archives”, the French leader then underlined. For both countries, this involves “look at this historical period together” from the start of French colonization (1830) until the end of the War of Independence (1962).
The commission met for the first time in April by videoconference. It brings together five French historians: Benjamin Stora, also co-president of the commission; Florence Hudowitz, curator at MuCEM; the university professor Jacques Frémeaux as well as the historians and university teachers Jean-Jacques Jordi and Tramor Quemeneur.
On the Algerian side, the body is co-chaired by the historian Mohamed Lahcen Zighidi, joined since November 2022 by the historians Mohamed El-Korso, Idir Hachi, Abdelaziz Fillali and Djamel Yahiaoui to be part of this commission.
Its implementation is part of the policy of appeat desired by Emmanuel Macron during his first five-year term, after the recommendations of Benjamin Stora’s report on the memorial conflict between Algeria and France over the colonial past. But the relationship between the two countries remains difficult and marked by misunderstandings and unsaid things.
The World with AFP