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Algeria president vows not to cede rights over 'French colonialist crimes'

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune has vowed not to cede his country's rights over French colonialist crimes against Algeria, saying such rights "are not subject to the statute of limitations."

Tebboune made the remarks on Friday in a statement on the 60th anniversary of the Evian peace accords between France and Algeria which brought independence to the North African country.

The peace agreement was signed on March 18, 1962 to end the Algerian war for independence. In July, Algeria became independent following a referendum.

Tebboune pledged to continue efforts to receive clarification from Paris on the fate of hundreds of Algerians missing during the eight-year war that ended 132 years of French rule.

He also vowed to restore his country's heritage, including artifacts, books and maps, that were looted by French soldiers and administrators when they left Algeria after more than a century of colonial rule.

He also reiterated his country’s demand for compensation for the victims of the French nuclear tests.

"We will demand compensation for the victims of the (French) nuclear testing and for other cases linked to these testing from France," Tebboune said.

Algerian authorities say more than 1.5 million Algerians were killed during the 1954-62 war of independence.

During his presidential campaign in 2017, Emmanuel Macron, the first French president born after the colonial period, acknowledged that the colonization of Algeria was a "crime against humanity," going further than any of his predecessors.

In 2018, he also admitted that France had instigated a system that facilitated torture during the Algerian war, however, he refused to apologize for atrocities committed by French troops during the colonization of Algeria.

In late 2021, Macron sparked a diplomatic row between Paris and Algiers after his controversial remarks that Algeria had an "official history" which had been "totally re-written".

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