The French Minister of Culture, Roseline Basselot, announced today the forthcoming opening of the archives onthe judicial inquiriesinto the Algerian war (1954-1962), some 60 years later and at a time when French-Algerian relations have been in crisis for months.

I am opening 15 years early the records of judicial investigations of the gendarmerie and police related to the Algerian war,he told BFMTV.

The announcement comes two days after the visit of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Algiers.

I want on this issue which is unpleasant and disturbing and on which there are falsifiers of history at work I want us to be able to look it in the eye. We are not constructing a national novel based on a lie,” the Culture Minister explained.

It is falsification that brings all the wanderings, all the problems and all the hatreds. Once the facts are on the table, where they are acknowledged and analysed, from that moment on, we can construct a history, a reconciliation,” he continued. “We have things to rebuild with Algeria, they can only be rebuilt on the truth,” he added.

Asked about the consequences of this decision, particularly as regards the confirmation of the use of torture by the French army in Algeria, Roseline Basselot replied that it was in the countrys interest to acknowledge this fact. Todays announcement is part of the policy of monumental reconciliation launched by French President Emmanuel Macron. On 13 September 2018, he acknowledged that the French army was responsible for the death of mathematician and militant communist Maurice Odin in 1957 in Algiers and promised his family wide access to the archives.

On 9 March 2021, continuing thestep-by-steppolicy, the President of the French Republic announced the simplification of the declassification procedures for classified files after 50 years, allowing for a reduction of the declassification period.

At the beginning of October, Le Monde newspaper published statements made by President Emmanuel Macron when he welcomed the descendants of former combatants of the Algerian war.

The French president had stated at the time that, after its independence in 1962, Algeria was built on amonumental capital” based on French colonialism and the Algerian war, fuelled bythe political-military system.

He also referred toofficial history, whichhas been rewritten from scratchandis not based on truth, buton a rhetoric of hatred against France