President Emmanuel Macron’s recent statement that a “memories and truth” commission will be established to look into the history of the French colonisation of Algeria, has led to much public discussion over this bloody legacy. And in this context, the absence of apologies or offers of reparations by the French state has not gone unnoticed. One area of particular contention in this process is the ongoing and detrimental effects of France’s nuclear testing in Algeria, conducted throughout the 1960s. France conducted its first nuclear test known as the “Gerboise Bleue” in February 1960 in the Sahara Desert – an atomic bomb that was four times the strength of Hiroshima. A total of 17 tests were carried out, four of them atmospheric detonations, and 13 underground.
The New Arab 12th Feb 2021 read more »