Algeria’s Minister of Mujahideen, Tayeb Zitouni, said on Sunday that France refuses to hand over to his country the maps of nuclear explosions it conducted in its desert in the 1960s.
The statement came in an interview conducted by the official Algerian News Agency with the minister, when the 59th anniversary of the country’s independence from France, on July 5, 1962.
The French colonial authorities conducted a series of nuclear tests in the Algerian desert (4 above ground and 13 underground), between 1960 and 1966, according to historians.
Zitouni stated, “The French side refuses to hand over topographic maps that might allow the identification of polluted, radioactive or chemical burial areas that have not been discovered until today.”
He added: “France also did not take any initiative to clean up the contaminated sites from a technical point of view or the slightest humanitarian action to compensate those affected.”
He said, “The colonial nuclear explosions are among the irrefutable evidence of the crimes committed whose radiation still affects humans, the environment, and the ocean.”
The file of the French nuclear explosions continues to be the subject of official Algerian demands and other civil organizations, in order to reveal the locations of nuclear waste and to compensate its victims and those affected by radiation.
While Algeria says that what happened are “nuclear explosions”, France considers them “just nuclear tests.”
Meanwhile, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said, in an interview with the French newspaper “Le Point”, in early June: “We ask France to clean up the nuclear test sites, and we hope from it that the file of its victims is addressed.”
It is stated by Algerian authorities and historians that, in the French colonization of Algeria, which lasted between 1830 and 1962, murders were conducted against nearly 5 million people, in addition to campaigns of displacement and the looting of wealth.