Jul 5 - Celebrations begin in Algeria to mark 50 years of independence from France. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Celebrations mark the 50th anniversary of Algeria's independence from France. A performance, attended by the country's president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Wednesday night, depicted Algeria's modern history as told by famed Lebanese choreographer Abdel-Halim Caracalla. Algeria's trade minister, who also attended the performance, said it was a proud moment. The war of independence cost the lives of 1.5 million Algerians, and Algeria has pushed for Paris to admit its part in the deaths of 45,000 Algerians who took to the streets to demand independence. Paris treated Algeria as an administrative unit of France itself and attempted to negate the territory's own history and culture, leaving a legacy of bitterness. The trauma of the Algerian war, in which hundreds of thousands were killed or uprooted, left deep scars on both sides. But France's new president, Francois Hollande, appears ready to express his country's regret over one of the bloodiest episodes in its colonial history. Sarah Sheffer, Reuters