Visnews filmed Jan 27 in Tunis, Ahmed Yazid, Information Minister of the so-called Algerian Government told a press conference the Algerian rebels were ready to continue their four-year old guerilla war against the French.
LV.INT.Information Minister addressing conference.
FULL CU. Ditto.
SV. Members of the press.
SCU. Minister addressing conference.
SV. Members of the press
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Background: Visnews filmed Jan 27 in Tunis, Ahmed Yazid, Information Minister of the so-called Algerian Government told a press conference the Algerian rebels were ready to continue their four-year old guerilla war against the French.
He said his government regretfully saw no prospect of peace in Algeria at present. Algerian insurgents were ready to carry on with the war even if it lasted many years. They were equally ready to make peace, but this did not depend on them and the recent French clemency measures had no political significance.
The guerrillas of the National Liberation Front suddenly revived their activity this month despite de Gaulle's reprieve of 180 condemned terrorists and release of some 7,000 rebels held in prisons and concentration camps.
The FLN struck its first successful attack for more than a year on trains carrying the Hassi Messaoud oil from the railhead at Touggart to the coast at Philippeville. Mines blew up eleven tank wagons, burning out 130,000 tons of oil.
The French military authorities in Algiers indicated the second week of this month was perhaps the bloodiest of the rebellion: over 800 rebels put out of action. And the FLN HQ in Tunisia countered with the claim that over 500 French troops were killed in the same period. Enumeration of losses is often impossible because of the nature of the fighting in rough mountain country of caves, ravines, thick forest.
Rumours continued to circulate in France and Tunisia of secret talks between representatives of the French Government and the FLN. They were promptly denied. De Gaulle's offer last October to rebel envoys to go to Paris under a guarantee of safe passage to negotiate has not been accepted.
The day after Yazid's conference, French Paratroop General Massu became provisional Commander of the Army Corps in Algiers. Massu was the man who centered in the Generals' Revolt in Algiers last May which led to the toppling of Fourth Republican Governments. Massu then was virtually downgraded by de Gaulle in a bid to reduce military emphasis in any Algerian settlement. Massu thus became Regional Prefect of Central Algeria.
Now observers interpreted his new post as an indication that the liberalism of de Gaulle's political actions in Algeria implied no diminution of military energy against the rebellion.
Violent fighting continued Jan 27-28. The French claimed some 250 rebels killed. French losses, rarely listed immediately, were estimated at 35-40 men. The worst attack in which French planes and artillery pounded the rebels was near the Tunisian frontier...across which the rebels withdraw.