Remembering the first French atomic test

Habib Kaki Oct 20, 2017

In a statement fully endorsed by Beyond Nuclear, which is a member of ICAN, 15 non-governmental organizations issued a statement on February 13, 2024 marking 64 years since France detonated its first atomic “test” in Algeria, leaving a legacy of transgenerational damage and a radiologically contaminated environment. The statement reads:

“On the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the first French nuclear explosion in Algeria, specifically in the Reggane region southwest of Algeria, which was named “Gerboise Bleue” (Blue Jerboa), 15 non-governmental organizations, including SHOAA for Human Rights organization, issued a joint statement condemning the harmful effects of the terrible French nuclear tests conducted in Algeria from 1960 to 1966. 

“The statement mentioned that despite more than 64 years having passed since these tests, France continues to deal with these issues with great secrecy, under the pretext of national defense secrets and security. It still refuses to disclose accurate maps revealing the locations of nuclear waste and precisely identifying the burial sites of this waste.

“The organizations signing this statement expressed their concerns about radiation exposure in areas where cancer cases, abnormal births, and congenital malformations continue to rise, especially in areas affected by nuclear testing. 

“The organizations called for urgent action to address the ongoing disaster resulting from these explosions, demanding the French government lift the secrecy surrounding the files related to the explosions and nuclear tests in Algeria, and stop hiding behind national defense and security secrets. They also called for facilitating and expediting the process of compensating Algerian victims.

“The organizations urged the Algerian government to use all available legal and diplomatic means to assist the victims of nuclear testing in regaining their moral and material rights.” (Headline photo: Habib Kaki/Creative Commons)

Read the full statement

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