The French army's big "pacification" programme in Algeria includes training young Algerians to become - among other things - radio mechanics, vehicle mechanics and machine operators.
The French army's big "pacification" programme in Algeria includes training young Algerians to become - among other things - radio mechanics, vehicle mechanics and machine operators. At one centre in Algiers, French and Indo-Chinese as well as Algerian students are undergoing training.
Attendance at the course is entirely voluntary, and French commentators explain that the aim is to produce trained men who are much needed in under-developed countries such as Algeria. Others point out that these French army services for civilians in Algeria are aimed at ensuring that a referendum on the future of Algeria will be favourable to the French. The pacification drive is part of President de Gaulle's 5-year Plan for industrializing the country and raising living standards.
Students attending the Army course in Algiers are subject to a life of army-like military discipline, and physical exercise forms an important part of their training. Many other Muslim Algerians experience similar conditions during their period of national service with the French Army.
Elsewhere in Algeria, the Army is helping to build villages; to build and staff schools, and to improve water supplies and methods of agriculture. French doctors and medical staff run free clinics.
The Muslim population is taking full advantage of these amenities in spite of the fact that the FLN forbade them to attend or make us of the clinics, and destroyed many school buildings.