Colonial Soldiers Want More From France





France has a long tradition of drawing on colonial troops to help fight in its wars. As long ago as end of the 18th century, Napoleon used troops from the French colonies in his Egypt campaign.

More recently, soldiers from countries like Senegal, Morocco, Mali, Algeria and Cambodia have fought under the Tricolore, either during the two world wars or in subsequent campaigns in places like Indochina and Algeria.

But in the wake of France’s painful postwar decolonization, the rights and benefits of those soldiers were restricted by a series of laws, in contrast to the treatment of native French veterans.

Helped by shifting public opinion, the colonial veterans have in recent years won important concessions from the government, gaining better pensions and access to other social benefits. Yet they contend that they are still not afforded equal treatment...


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