France struggled to relinquish Algeria as a nuclear test site, archives reveal

Thomas Fraise and Austin Cooper
Wed, 03/08/2022

Top French officials, including French President Charles de Gaulle, sought to conduct atmospheric nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara following the former French colony’s independence in 1962. These plans, described in recently declassified French documents, never came to fruition. If they had, they would have violated a request made several times by the first Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella and his cabinet not to conduct atmospheric nuclear testing in their country – a call he notably extended to the rest of the world.

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