French President Emmanuel Macron has ruled out a public apology for colonial abuses committed in Algeria as he agreed to create a Memories and Truth Commission recommended in a report published on Wednesday evening.
“There will be no repentance nor apologies,” his office said ahead of a meeting with historian Benjamin Stora who was commissioned last year to conduct the report to ensure “the history of the Algerian war is known and viewed with lucidity.”
The report by Stora focused on a series of concrete actions to “lift the lid” on a range of issues left behind by France’s colonial past and the Algerian war.
“If you lift all these lids one after the other, you end up with a real overview of the history of colonisation,” the French historian said.
Rather than issue an official apology for crimes committed during the French occupation of the North African nation Mr Macron will take part in “symbolic acts” promoting reconciliation.
Mr Stora made 30 recommendations, including the conversion of internment camps for Algerians in France into memorial sites and for measures to be taken to ensure the history of French colonialism in Algerian is taught in schools.
Three events will be held to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the 1954-62 Algerian War of Independence.
It is believed some 1.5 million Algerians were killed by French forces during the conflict period.