Reggan…a witness of French occupation nuclear barbarism

48 years after nuclear tests in the Sahara

Reggan…a witness of French occupation nuclear barbarism

El Khabar, 24 février 2008

“In Reggan, France maturity falsehood unveiled…In Mahmoudia, dreams of children raped…” This is a stanza of a poem written by a young poet called Mahmoud Hadallah from Oulf region, in Adrar province, on the sake of his uncle who was among victims of nuclear tests of the French occupation in the region, causing him a mental disruption after seeing the nuclear flash without protection.

This tragedy, despite being graved in the local memory for 48 years, it has been absent from victim names graved on the monument immortalizing this colonial crime.
Thousands of nuclear radiation victims are waiting for a public apology.
Reggan has won the memory battle as children took part to the 48th anniversary of those nuclear tests, celebrated last February 13, by carrying candles lightning darkness of oblivion, while all lights of the city turned off, alluding to the obscurity and heinous crime.
A history teacher in Ibn Rushd secondary school told El Khabar that neither school curricula nor programmes of History faculty, in Adrar University do mention this nuclear catastrophe.
He further said: “why are we wondering why France still rejecting acknowledging its crimes, or why emerging generation are ignoring its history?”
The first nuclear test was called the Blue Jerboa and estimated at 40 to 80 kilotons, i.e. three times the force of the US nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This test was followed by three others on the open air, in addition to 35 blasts inside plutonium wells called “The Red Jerboa,” exploded between 1961 until 1963.
France pursued its nuclear tests from November 7, 1961 to February16, 1966 by 16 more blasts inside underground tunnels in Ain Iker region in Hoggar and Tassili mountains.

Nuclear radiations crossed borders

For the first time stories accurately helped identifying people used to buy old ferrous and non-ferrous scraps infected with radionuclide, after being brought by some inhabitants of Reggan and Mahmoudia regions.
This means that radionuclide reached other provinces and crossed borders.
French occupation insisted on its crimes by leaving the nuclear base without completing cleaning it from radioactivity, like it did in Polynesia Isles, the nuclear expert Bruno Barrio indicated, following measurements made on scattered materials in the bombing site.
In this context, sources close to the French Nuclear Weapons Test Veterans of Polynesia and the Sahara told El Khabar that a mixed commission is to be installed sooner as to clean up nuclear test sites in Ikker and Reggan.

Health archives another crime’s prove

Available health records stored in Reggan Hospital record only 1966 and on, a year after the departure of French Military Authorities from the region toward Polynesia, i.e. France has taken away the medical archives recording the period that preceded 1966.
The available medical data contain scientific evidences on the volume of the nuclear catastrophe in the region that France attempted to cover up.
It indicates a net rising of babes’ death, although scientific researchers are required to be carried as to assert whether this death toll has any relationship with nuclear tests.
Furthermore, cancer cases rose to 17 cases in 2006 after being only 8 in 2000.


By D.B/ Translation A.A