CARPENTRAS, France (AP) — A few dozen protesters have urged French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron to apologize after he called France’s colonization of Algeria a “crime against humanity.”
Macron’s comments in an interview to the Algerian channel Echourouk News earlier this week have prompted controversy, as the topic is still a source of tension in France.
Protesters who gathered Friday during Macron’s visit in Carpentras, in southern France, were mostly tied to Christian and Jewish families who moved to French colonies in North Africa before being expelled when those countries became independent.
Macron, a centrist candidate in France’s two-round April-May presidential election, explained in a video that his comments aimed to acknowledge the responsibility of the French state in the colonization, not to target any people.
Algeria lived under French colonial rule from 1830 to 1962.