France must compensate the victims of landmines planted by its forces during the colonial era, head of the Algerian National Human Rights Council (CNHD), Bouzid Lazhari, has said, adding that French authorities laid more than nine million mines along Algeria’s eastern and western borders, which caused permanent disabilities for 7,300 Algerians.
Lazhari’s statement came on Sunday when the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was marked.
He said that Algeria is still paying a high price for the mines that France planted on its eastern and western borders.
Lazhari explained that official records state that 7,300 Algerians were affected by the French mines, including 4,830 during the war of liberation and 2,470 after independence.
France, he added, had attempted immediately after Algeria’s independence to issue a decree to protect and immunise civilians and military personnel who were present in Algeria during the colonial era from prosecution.