The French President Francois Hollande spoke out on a visit to Algeria saying that France had played a contentious role in supressing the Algerian people. Speaking in French He said

"For 132 years, Algeria was under a system which was profoundly unjust and brutal. (Applause) This system has a name, it's colonisation. And I acknowledge here the sufferings that colonisation has inflicted on the Algerian people. (Applause) Amongst those sufferings were the massacres of Setif, of Guelma, of Kherrata, which I know are still rooted in the Algerians' conscience, but also in that of the French."

Hollande's comments on the 1954-1962 Algerian war, which ended in Algerian independence and France's withdrawal, are likely to be carefully analysed for signs they could help remove lingering resentment about the conflict in both countries. But he stopped short of an apology to the oil-rich North African state that Paris sees as a major trading partner.

I am Ann Salter thanks for watching. Stay tuned for the latest news and updates on this story with me at

Written and presented by Ann Salter