Hollande calls French rule of Algeria brutal, offers no apology

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- French President Francois Hollande called France’s 132-year colonial rule in Algeria “brutal and unjust,” stopping short of an outright apology, as he seeks to improve relations that have been troubled ever since the North African country won its independence 50 years ago.

Citing France’s postwar reconciliation with Germany, Hollande told Algeria’s parliament during a two-day visit that he wants “a new age in relations” based on “recognition of the truth.”

Hollande is the third French president to struggle how to frame relations with Algeria since the country’s president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, demanded in 2003 that France apologize for its “long, brutal and genocidal” rule. Bouteflika and other Algerian leaders have lately backed off those demands, and Hollande has already taken some steps toward Algeria, such as this year being the first French president to recognize the killings of 100 Algerian protesters in Paris in 1961....

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