World Bulletin / News Desk
French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron on Thursday defended his comments that France’s colonization of Algeria was "a crime against humanity”.
Macron's remarks to an Algerian broadcaster sparked outrage among his conservative and far-right rivals.
“It’s a crime. It’s a crime against humanity,” the former economy minister told Algerian television Echorouk on Tuesday in an interview.
Algeria gained independence from France in 1962 after a bloody eight-year war.
Macron, a former economy minister and centrist independent candidate, founded his own political movement “En Marche!” (On the move) last April and has surpassed conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon in the polls.
“It’s truly barbarous and it’s part of a past that we need to confront by apologizing to those against whom we committed these acts,” Macron told the Algerian channel.
“At the same time, we must not sweep this past under the rug…There’s a fitting phrase that is said about Algeria: ‘France established human rights in Algeria. It simply forgot to [abide] by them,’” he added.
Macron also said he hoped to promote "reconciliation of memories" between the two countries. He also made a stop at the Martyrs' Memorial in Algiers which commemorates the country’s war of independence.
However, conservative rival Fillon slammed Macron’s comments and said: “This hatred of our history, this perpetual repentance, that is unworthy of a candidate for the presidency of the republic."
Florian Philippot, vice-president of the far-right National Front, tweeted on Wednesday: “Mr. Macron, are roads, hospitals, French language and French culture crimes against humanity? Stop this constant repentance!”
Macron defends Algeria remarks
Macron defended the comments in a video released on his movement's official website on Thursday evening.
He said: "Are we today condemned to live forever in the shadow of this trauma between these two countries?"
"It's time to close this grief. Therefore we should have the courage to say things."
Macron said he was not targeting former French soldiers but was acknowledging “a responsibility of the French state".
"Our responsibility today is to reconcile memories in order to found a new relationship between France and Algeria."
France has never officially apologized for its 132-year, often-bloody colonization of Algeria.
During a 2012 visit to Algeria, French President Francois Hollande acknowledged his country’s “unjust and brutal” regime in the North African country.
Paying his first visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief, Mattis met with President Ashraf Ghani and other officials and US military commanders.
Amnesty International quickly condemned Ahmed Abba's sentence -- he was further convicted of "laundering the proceeds of terrorist acts," and was fined a sum equivalent to around 85,000 euros.
The warrant, first issued in 2013 by the International Criminal Court (ICC), charges Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, once head of Libya's internal security agency, with three charges of war crimes and four crimes against humanity.
Ankara prosecutors' probe follows president's complaint over ex-French diplomat suggesting his assassination
Experts running the probe said they could not rule out other carmakers besides Volkswagen using cheating devices in test conditions.
Muslims must choose the one who defends fraternity among citizens, not discord or hatred, says head of Paris Grand Mosque
Police record more than 23,500 far-right offences last year; nearly 1,700 of them are violent attacks
Every guest worker who retired and went back to Turkey are ambassadors for Germany, according to Offenbach business leader
Eight of the bodies were recovered in Greek waters while the Turkish coastguard found another seven bodies, a Greek coastguard spokeswoman said.
French president warns of risks if far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, comes to power
Athens on April 7 accepted in principle a tough set of new reform and tax measures in return for fresh cash to avert a possible debt default in July.
Here is a look at those who were still a little wet behind the ears when they attained high executive office.
The OSCE suffered its first casualty in the three-year war in Europe's backyard after an armoured vehicle hit a landmine Sunday in the Russian-backed separatist fiefdom of Lugansk.
"We respect the choice of the French people. We are in favour of building good and mutually beneficial relations," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Military blames attack on Nigerian ISIL-linked terrorist group Boko Haram
Building the wall was Trump's signature campaign promise, and the White House appeared determined to get Congress to approve a down payment as part of a bigger bill to keep the US government funded.