French paratroops fighting the Algerian Liberation Forces in North-East Algeria were visited by Mr. Robert?
French paratroops fighting the Algerian Liberation Forces in North-East Algeria were visited by Mr. Robert Lacoste, France's Chief Minister in Algeria.
The location of this war-zone is close to the Tunisian border in the mountains. When Mr. Lacoste arrived from Philippeville, where he had opened the pipeline from the oil wells in the Sahara, the mountain battle which had started in the morning was still being fought. Up to the time of his arrival the French troops had captured over one hundred rifles, together with one rebel prisoner.
It has been reported from other border battle areas that the rebel forces are much better trained that of late and are increasingly more difficult to defeat. This probably confirms the French suspicions that a more intensive training programme for members of the Liberation Army is in process in Tunisia. It is because of this that the French Government has considered the possibility of erecting a 'No-man's land' along the Tunisian-Algerian border with land-mines and barbed wire.
At present President Bourguiba's Government is protesting against this plan as it will involve the demolishing of villages on the Algerian side. To this the French authorities have stated that the number of villages that it will be necessary to remove is negligible and that those people from the villages will be resettled close to their former homes.
Meanwhile the situation worsens as reports are received that Egypt is training volunteers as pilots for the Liberation Army, and that the King of Morocco claims unspecified areas of the Sahara as Moroccan territory, and accuses the French and Spanish armies in the area of an unfriendly policy of co-operation against the arabs.