PARIS – A group of Algerians who fought for France during Algeria's independence war are demanding that France officially admit that it abandoned them during its retreat in 1962 and is responsible for massacres that followed.
Around 150 people, including former fighters — called harkis — and their descendants, marched in Paris on Sunday to call President Francois Hollande to honor a campaign promise to officially recognize the abandoning of the Algerian contingent, which was some 200,000 strong.
Harkis who managed to reach French shores after the seven-year-war were placed in camps. Tens of thousands of those left behind were massacred as traitors by the victors.
Tahar Khemessia of Marseille, 74, said that "in Algeria, we're treated like traitors, and in France we're disowned."