At the end of the relentless War of Independence, the Evian Accords ended the long colonial night. The Algerian delegation led by Krim Belkash achieved what will go down in history as a resounding political and diplomatic victory in the fight against Algeria over the imperialist power.
I60 years ago, on March 19, 1962, the Evian Accords entered into force, establishing a ceasefire between Algerian militants and the all-powerful French army and ending 132 years of unworthy occupation.
The historic document, initialed the day before by the FLN and GPRA delegation headed by Crim Belkas and representatives of the French government headed by Louis Jox, completed a year and a half of negotiations and secret negotiations on the conditions for the inevitable departure of the French occupier.
Thus, the Evian Accords, which were supposed to end the irreconcilable war that had lasted seven and a half years, finally turned the dark page of colonization.
Armed struggle, combined with an exceptional diplomatic battle in which the independence fighters succeeded in drawing international attention to the cause of Algeria, prevailed over the most unjust colonial order. Young activists forged in poppies succeeded in isolating France on the international stage, and the French leaders had to get out of this bad situation.
“France was condemned at the international level by the UN, which recognized the right of Algeria to independence. Moreover, there was a decolonization movement on a global scale that pushed France to accept this independence. Finally, General de Gaulle wanted to turn to other goals, in particular to Europe, ”historian Benjamin Stora explained to the media in 2018.
That Mohamed Harby, who was one of those who drew up the roadmap for the GPRA negotiators, testified a few days ago on TV5 Monde, confirming the inevitability of Algeria’s independence in the spring of 1962. “(…) We were accepted into the embassies. We had Tunisian or Moroccan diplomatic passports and then we had our own GPRA passports valid throughout the third world. The French found themselves in a difficult international situation. France was isolated. The French had to get out of this difficult situation (…),” he testified.
If she were forced to leave, France was not at all ready to give up everything, especially the Sahara region and its oil. A stumbling block that derailed negotiations in 1961 until the President of France, in a speech, recognized Algeria’s sovereignty over all of its territory, including the Sahara.
France could continue its nuclear testing in the Deep South (the compensation case has not yet been settled), maintain the military base of Mers el Kebir for a few more years, the GPRA was able to achieve the goals of the November 1 declaration. , 1954: restoration of national sovereignty, the integrity of the territory and the unity of the Algerian people.
“It was a very big victory for us. But I never say that we won the war. We were ready for the world. It was the same with the French, who became more and more isolated internationally. For me, independence was a boundless hope. But internal infighting within the FLN quickly took over. We arrived on July 3, 1962, in Algiers, at a time when internal struggle was growing among the combatants, ”Mohamed Harbi testified again.
Sixty years have passed since Krim Belkasem, Redha Malek, Saad Dahlab and their associates recorded the Victory on March 19, 1962. However, this day does not cause enthusiasm in Algeria. The reason for this, no doubt, is the chaotic course of an independent Algeria and its unfortunate turns.
The same Mohamed Harbi summarizes this very bitterly: “With the development of certain wealth, we would like the country to get out of underdevelopment and get rid of this internal barbarism. It remains a pain. (…)”.