The French parliament approved a move on Monday for November 11th to become a day to remember all French war dead and not only those who died during the First World War.

"/> The French parliament approved a move on Monday for November 11th to become a day to remember all French war dead and not only those who died during the First World War.

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11 November adopted as remembrance day for all war dead

The French parliament approved a move on Monday for November 11th to become a day to remember all French war dead and not only those who died during the First World War.

11 November adopted as remembrance day for all war dead
Christian Parreira

The change was voted by all parties, except the left-wing Front de Gauche. 

The new law will require local authorities to write the names of those who died in other wars on existing memorials.

The change was made after President Sarkozy called for a national day of mourning for all who have died fighting for France.

However, the rules will keep in place other days which commemorate French wars, such as the 8th May holiday celebrating the victory of the Allies in 1945.

It was this change that persuaded the opposition Socialist party to vote with the government on the change.

The far-left Front de Gauche maintained its opposition, arguing that the current practice of different days to commemorate different wars was important. 

“Amalgamating all the memorials would stop us from taking the lessons from each war,” said Communist MP André Chassaigne, reported newspaper Libération.

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WAR

French forces tortured and murdered Algerian freedom fighter in 1950s, admits Macron

French forces "tortured and murdered" Algerian freedom fighter Ali Boumendjel during his country's war for independence, President Emmanuel Macron admitted on Tuesday, officially reappraising a death that was covered up as a suicide.

French forces tortured and murdered Algerian freedom fighter in 1950s, admits Macron
Malika, the widow of Ali Boumendjel, pictured in 2001. Photo: Stefan Fferberg/AFP

Macron made the admission “in the name of France” during a meeting with Boumendjel’s grandchildren.

The move comes after Macron in January refused to issue an official apology for abuses committed during the occupation of Algeria – instead, he agreed to form a “truth commission” as recommended by a report commissioned by the government to shed light on France’s colonial past.

Atrocities committed by both sides during the 1954-1962 Algerian war of independence continue to strain relations between the countries.

Boumendjel, a nationalist and lawyer, was arrested during the battle of Algiers by the French army, “placed incommunicado, tortured, and then killed on 23 March 1957,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

“Ali Boumendjel did not commit suicide. He was tortured and then killed,” Macron told Boumendjel’s grandchildren, according to the statement.

It is not the first time the real cause of death was acknowledged.

In 2000, the former head of French intelligence in Algiers Paul Aussaresses confessed to ordering Boumendjel’s death and disguising the murder as a suicide, according to the statement.

It added that Macron on Tuesday had also reiterated his desire to give families the opportunity to find out the truth about this chapter of history.

Last month, Boumendjel’s niece Fadela Boumendjel-Chitour denounced what she called the “devastating” lie the French state had told about her uncle.

French historian Benjamin Stora, who wrote the government-commissioned report, has said there is a “never-ending memory war” between the two countries.

The report has been described by the Algerian government as “not objective” and falling “below expectations.”

During his 2017 election campaign, Macron – the first president born after the colonial period – declared that the occupation of Algeria was a “crime against humanity”.

He has since said there was “no question of showing repentance” or of “presenting an apology” for abuses committed in the North African country.

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