On Friday, the 24 skulls resistance fighters has been received by Algeria which were decapitated during colonial France’s conquest of the North African country that had been lying in storage in a Paris museum.
The restoration of the bones, used as war prizes by French colonial officers, comes in the midst of a worldwide re-examination of colonialism’s legacy after George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, was killed by a white police officer in the United States on May 25.
Michelle Bachelet the UN human rights chief has urged countries to make amends for “centuries of violence and discrimination”.
The remains were transported from France to the airport of Algiers on a Hercules C-130 transport plane, followed on arrival by Algerian fighter jets, the AFP reporter said.
President Abdelmadjid and a military guard of honor gave the war “heroes” an official welcome by a 21-gun salute.
The skulls, in coffins draped with the Algerian flag, were brought out of the aircraft and carried shoulder high by soldiers as a military band played a funeral march.
Tebboune bowed in front of each coffin and a Muslim cleric recited a prayer for the dead.
“The silent of city was incredibly as the sirens of boats echo across the port of Algiers,” in tribute to the resistance fighters, an Algerian tweeted.
The remains will be taken to the Palace of Culture in Algiers where they will be on display Saturday for the public to pay their respects.
The skulls will finally be laid to rest in the martyrs’ section of the capital’s El Alia cemetery, On Sunday, Algeria’s 58th anniversary of independence, local media reported.
France’s 132 years of colonial rule, and the brutal eight-year war that ended it, have left a lasting legacy of often prickly relations between the two governments and peoples.