NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
3rd July, 1962 : One hundred and thirty-two years of French rule in Algeria came to an end today with a brief declaration signed by Charles de Gaulle. He “solemnly recognised” the independence of the North African country that had been considered to be an integral part of France, so ending a conflict which recalled him from retirement to rule the Republic again. The recognition followed Sunday’s referendum when six million Algerians voted almost unanimously for independence in cooperation with France. Both Moslem and French citizens were enfranchised. The final vote was 99%. Jubilant Algerians cheered Benyoussef Ben Kheddah, their new Prime Minister, but Ahmed Ben Bella, his quarrelsome deputy, refused to appear and flew off in a huff to Egypt to see his ally, President Nasser.
[“Upon independence, in 1962, 900,000 European-Algerians (Pieds-noirs) fled to France, in fear of the FLN’s revenge, within a few months. The government was totally unprepared for the vast number of refugees, causing turmoil in France. The majority of Algerian Muslims who had worked for the French were left behind, even though a ″bloodbath″ had been forecast upon French withdrawal. In particular the Harkis, having served as auxiliaries with the French army, were regarded as traitors by the FLN. Between 50,000 and 150,000 Harkis and family members, disarmed by French officers before the latter left, were murdered by the FLN or lynch-mobs, often after being abducted and tortured. About 91,000 managed to flee to France, some with help from their French officers acting against orders …”
Eighty days later Ben Kheddah was replaced by comrade Ben Bella, who in April 1964 was made the Hero of Soviet Union.
Today France has about 5,000,000 Muslims.]