Algeria 1960

Letter of the FLN to the Harkis

First Published: July 14, 1960;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike)

The harkis were Algerians who fought alongside the French in their war against the FLN. Considered traitors, thousands died during the actual war and, according to harki sources, many thousands more were killed when the war ended and they remained behind in the now independent Algeria.

There is no question that the FLN viewed them with especial hatred and disdain. The following was a flyer distributed to harki units.

Faithful to its tradition, colonialist France spares the blood of its children and, as always, uses foreign blood in its wars against the peoples it wants to maintain under its domination.

The French Federation of the FLN has regularly foiled the various manoeuvres of the French government. It has successfully responded to all of the provocations directed against the Algerian Emigration, whose definitive unity it has realized and cemented.

In the face of the operations of which you are the unknowing executors, we could react using the same methods we have been forced to use in the past in rendering harmless the agents of the enemy; traitors, stool pigeons, etc... The French press would then speak of a “settling of accounts among Algerians,” claiming this proves the division in our ranks and our inability to take our destiny into our own hands.

Responsible for the security of our immigrant compatriots in France, the French Federation of the FLN, while not tolerating any attack on that security, will know how to avoid playing the enemy’s game.


We know under what conditions you were either forced or led to enlist.

We know what ruses, pressures, and blackmail you were the objects of on the part of those who deliberately expose you to the risk of falling before the blows of your compatriots.

You should immediately ask yourself the question: WHY THEN WOULD YOU HAVE DIED?

Because you are the victims of the very people who torture and murder your fathers and brothers, brutalize and rape your mothers and sisters, set fire to and bomb your villages — of the very people who carry out a barbaric war against people FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS!

You will thus understand why and how the colonial system makes of you the instruments of its abject politics; why and how the colonial system makes of you pariahs who are banished from their community.

You weren’t born to be the bulldogs of French colonialism.

You can’t deny you origins: your place awaits you among your brothers.


Members of the “Auxiliary Police Force”

Colonialism is tottering, it is about to be defeated! It is forced to recognize the patriotic combatants as the responsible interlocutors of Algeria’s destiny.

Tomorrow IT WILL ABANDON YOU, like it abandoned all those it used in Viet Nam, in Tunisia and in Morocco.

Tomorrow you will be worthy of no more consideration than a cheap Glaoui[1] . What will become of you in an Algeria that will, sooner than you think, be returned to its people?

One path alone is laid out before every Algerian: the path of Honor and dignity.



Paris, July 14, 1960

1. Influential Moroccan political figure.