The conflict in Algeria. The war for independence which lasted throughout the 1950s and up until 1962 was costly and bloody. A colony of France since 1830 Algeria, like so many countries during the post-World War 2 period, sought independence for former rulers – those countries which either had lost the war and were stripped of their colonial status, or those who were having what little resources were left, dried up by colonies they could no longer keep.
The Independence Movement was a strong one, with numerous African countries seeking freedom from European influence, but getting themselves stuck in bloody conflicts often as a result.
Algeria was only one nation in Africa undergoing great upheavals. In 1960, around the time of this live debate, Belgium was going through a crisis with their former colony of The Congo. Britain was also going through major changes on the world picture – with India achieving independent in the late 1940s and the subsequent violence which sprang up between independent India and independent Pakistan. But there was also a considerable movement afoot to gain independence for a number of African nations from Britain. All in all, it was a violence-torn period of time with factions and growing pains and economic freedom to contend with.
But the big news was on Algeria and what could be done to finally end the bloody conflict which had taken so many lives and had created a deep wedge within French society. Clearly, there was no easy answer. But in this debate, aired live throughout the world on this day in 1960 the representatives faced tough questions and put forth cases with the hopes something positive could come out of it. Arguing the issues were Jacques Soustelle, former Governor General of Algeria and former cabinet minister in the government of Charles De Gaulle. Alex Quaison Sackey, former Ambassador of Ghana to the United Nations. The debate was then joined by a question and answer period which showed just how divided the world in general was over the issue of an independent Algeria.
Here is that episode of The Nation’ Future and the Debate on The Algerian Conflict, from December 3, 1960.