De Gaulle kept perpetrators of massacres against Algerians in charge
Declassified documents show that former French President Charles De Gaulle kept those responsible for the 17 October 1961 massacre of Algerians in their positions.
Documents that were declassified by the French government and published on Monday revealed that former French President Charles de Gaulle knew the details of the massacre in Paris, yet kept those responsible for it in charge.
French investigative website Mediapart revealed from the archived documents that De Gaulle kept those responsible for the 17 October 1961 massacre, mayor Maurice Papon and relevant ministers, in their positions.
According to the website, De Gaulle's consultant for Algerian affairs Bernard Tricot, wrote on October 28, 1961, that there is a possibility that as many as 54 people were killed.
Close to 30,000 Algerians had taken to the streets in a peaceful protest on that day, after a call from the National Liberation Front for the independence of Algeria, and protested the mandatory curfew imposed only on Algerians.
For the first time, in October 2021, the French Presidency acknowledged that a massacre was committed on that day.
The acknowledgment came in the form of 'condemnation' by French President Macron, who decried the massacre as "inexcusable." However, this 'condemnation' did not satisfy activists, as they had hoped for an even stronger recognition of responsibility.
After 60 years of covering up the massacre's scale, Macron told relatives of victims on the anniversary that "crimes" were committed on the night of October 17, 1961, under the command of notorious Paris police chief Maurice Papon.
The French president paid tribute to the memory after acknowledging that dozens of protestors had been killed, "their bodies thrown into the River Seine."
Macron "recognized that the crimes committed that night under Maurice Papon are inexcusable for the Republic," Elysee said. "This tragedy was long hushed-up, denied or concealed," it added in a statement.