France 'made soap from slain Algerians' bones', Tebboune advisor says
Abdelmadjid Cheikhi said France's alleged use of the bones for manufacturing is one of several reasons why the former colonial power has prevented Algiers from recovering the remains of Algeria's "martyrs".
France occupied Algeria for 132 years between 1830 and 1962, during which it killied over 1.5 million Algerians.
According to the Algerian News Agency, Cheikhi stressed that his country has wanted to retrieve the remains since its independence, however has constantly run into obstacles from the French side.
Cheikhi said that Algeria was "a real field of experiments for the brutal practices that France later applied in other colonies, especially the African ones."
He added that France's dark colonial history has pushed it to "obliterate it in all ways," including by destroying historical archives and obstructing Algeria's efforts to recover colonial records and the remains of anti-colonial fighters.
Cheikhi also alleged that France moved its archives from Paris and Aix-en-Provence to "unknown places" in order to avoid scrutiny.
The release of colonial archives, Cheikhy contended, would
"discredit France and the image it is trying to promote as a civilised country based on democracy and respect for human rights."
Earlier this year, Algeria buried the remains of 24 resistance fighters returned from Paris after more than a century and a half as it marked the 58th anniversary of its independence from France.
The skulls of the fighters, shot and decapitated in the early years of the French occupation, were laid to rest during an emotional ceremony at El Alia cemetery.