Paris: France admitted on Thursday that it instigated a "system" that led to torture during Algeria's national liberation war, a conflict that remains hugely sensitive six decades on.
The French presidency announced, in a statement, that President Emmanuel Macron is set to acknowledge that mathematician Maurice Audin, a Communist pro-independence activist who disappeared in 1957, "died under torture stemming from the system instigated while Algeria was part of France", his office said.
According to the statement, Macron was due to hand over a declaration to Audin’s widow, and also announce "the opening of archives on the subject of disappeared civilians and soldiers, both French and Algerian".
During the 1954-62 war, which claimed some 1.5 million Algerian lives, French forces brutally cracked down on independence fighters in the colony ruled by Paris for 130 years. The French state has never previously admitted that its military forces routinely used torture during the Algerian war.
Macron, the first president born after the conflict, sparked controversy on the campaign trail last year by declaring that France's colonization of Algeria was a "crime against humanity".
Macron later walked back the comments, calling for "neither denial nor repentance" over France's colonial history adding, "We cannot remain trapped in the past".
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