Algeria seeks new compensation over French nuclear tests

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-29 05:40:25|Editor: Yurou
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ALGIERS, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Algeria said Sunday it is due to submit new proposals to France over the issue of compensation Paris has to provide to victims of nuclear tests in Algeria.

"A meeting of the Algerian-French Joint Commission in charge of settling the issue of French nuclear tests in Algeria is under preparation, as we are due to present new proposals the French side," Minister of Mujahedeen (War-veterans), Tayeb Zitouni, was quoted as saying by APS news agency.

He specified that these new proposals concern "compensation for victims of these tests who already transmitted their files to the French side, in addition to compensation for the environment damage," saying the area of contaminated land by nuclear radiation exceeds 100 sq km.

The Algerian side "is waiting for proposals from the French side before the joint meeting on this issue," Zitouni said, adding that the French side "already pleaded to implement the Morin Law on the compensation of victims of nuclear tests but the law has never covered the Algerian victims."

The minister further noted that ministerial commission that consists of representatives of the War-veterans Ministry and Foreign Ministry is due to hold a working meeting to discuss the issue of the recovery of 41 cranes of Algerian martyrs and which are exposed at the French Museum of Natural History (MNHN).

He added that some pending issues, including the restitution of archives and disappeared Algerians during the national revolution should be discussed during a meeting that is under preparation between the Algerian and French parts.

The devastating effects of France's nuclear tests in Algeria will remain for several decades, Head of the National Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Research Development (FOREM), Mustapha Khiati, told reporters last year.

He noted that the use of chemical materials such as plutonium in these nuclear tests caused several pathologies, including skin cancer, among population living in the affected regions.

On February 13, 1960, colonial France conducted a large-scale nuclear test in the southern region of Reggane.

Experts say that as many as 42,000 Algerians were killed and thousands others were irradiated in 17 nuclear tests carried out by France between 1960 and 1966.

So far, Algiers and Paris have failed to normalize their long standing bilateral relations, as the two nations are still unable to overcome their common "painful" past, which includes a 132 long years of French colonialism in the North Africa nation.

In Algeria, it is understood that the bilateral relations with France could reach normalization, only when Paris recognizes the crimes committed during its colonial era, and offer apology to the victims of that "brutal" colonialism rule.