France has completed the process of returning skulls of 24 Algerian resistance fighters who died while opposing French occupation of the North African nation in the 19th century.
Report gathered says Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced the move recently, the state-run Algeria Press Service reported, and French media reported they arrived in the Algerian capital, Algiers, on Friday afternoon.
History has it that France colonized Algeria from 1830 until its independence in 1962, following a seven-year war, but resistance to the occupation flared up on numerous occasions throughout the previous century.
It has been made public that the remains of some of the leaders of the resistance movements are among those being returned, the President said. They include allies of Emir Abdelkader, an Islamic preacher who led a group of tribesmen in a lengthy struggle against French forces in the mid-19th century.
“Algeria is determined to bring the remains of other deported martyrs back to their homeland,” Tebboune said in a statement reported by APS.
He added that the move “perfectly mirrors our sacred respect for our martyrs and symbols of our Revolution, and our commitment to never give up any part of our historical and cultural heritage.”
French President Emmanuel Macron first said he was ready to return a number of skulls taken from Algerian resistance fighters on his first visit to the country in 2017, local media reported at the time.He later called colonialism a “grave mistake and a fault of the republic” in a speech in the Ivory Coast in late 2019.