Algeria is demanding financial compensation from the French authorities for the nuclear tests they carried out in the Sahara desert in the 1960s.
According to Algerian military expert, Colonel Muhammed Halfawi, "France recognizes the fact that it carried out nuclear and chemical tests, but refuses to pay compensation to the victims."
"Jointly with these people, we are actively urging France to pay compensation to the families of the victims of the explosion and those who have suffered from the effects of these tests," Halwafi told Sputnik France.
"There are documentaries that reveal how the tests had been conducted. They show that at that time the French did not have an accurate understanding of the force of the explosion. You can see how the generals hastily left the site on the aircraft, because the power of the bomb significantly exceeded their calculations."
Algerian officials recently held a national forum on "French nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara, and their effect on humans and the environment." The event was timed to the 57th anniversary of the nuclear experiments conducted on February 13, 1960.
According to Halfawi, the Algerians have been fighting for justice for a long time.
"Confessions on a political level are not enough. The families of those who died or became disabled are living among us. The nuclear tests will have effects for millions of years. France should recognize the rights of these people," Halfawi concluded.
The 260-page document, reported by Le Parisien newspaper in 2010, said the experiments were carried out on French soldiers in the Algerian Sahara desert in 1960-1966.
According to the report, the experiments, intended to study the possibility of carrying out offensive and defensive operations in a contaminated area, involved some 300 infantrymen and tank crews, the paper said.
The French military authorities reportedly intended to "study the physical and psychological effect of nuclear weapons on humans" and find out whether soldiers were "able to continue fighting" if a nuclear strike would have taken place in the conditions of a war.