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Macron Is Paying the Price for France’s Bloody History in Africa

  • France losing influence in parts of Africa it once dominated
  • Failure to tackle colonial abuses fuels racial tension at home
Coffins containing the remains of 24 Algerian resistance fighters are presented at the Palais De La Culture Moufdi Zakaria in Algiers, Algeria, on July 4.
Coffins containing the remains of 24 Algerian resistance fighters are presented at the Palais De La Culture Moufdi Zakaria in Algiers, Algeria, on July 4.Photographer: Ryad Kramdi/AFP via Getty Images

The severed heads of the resistance fighters were displayed in a market square first. Then they were shipped back to private collections in Paris. For decades, they were boxed up in a museum basement and finally, this July, Emmanuel Macron sent them home.

As the Algerian military transport taxied to halt, the country’s leader, the chief of the army and a Muslim cleric lowered their eyes and 24 coffins draped with green, white and red of their national flag were carried across the tarmac.