Twenty-eight former Singaporean shooters were formally granted on Saturday after six decades of French citizenship because of the independence of the African colonies from France.
In the banquet hall of the Elysee presidential palace, President Francois Hollande presided over the ceremony in honor of the former fighters of the French army in Indochina or Algeria, who became their age in the 1980s.
The group included 23 Senegalese, two Congolese, two others from the Central African Republic and one from the Ivory Coast.
After the French national anthem, Hollande handed over the decree, which states that he is French.
“It took a long battle for France to agree to reform this injustice,” the French president admitted. “You are the history of France and it is a city,” he said.
“It is the fruit of a long battle,” said Isata Sik, assistant mayor of Pondi, which is responsible for Senegalese veterans. Sick has launched a petition on the Internet that has collected more than 60,000 signatures within 15 days, including the signatures of a number of personalities.
They are retired and have only normal residence permits and have no choice but to stay on French soil and their departure to Senegal to spend the rest of their lives with their families means depriving them of their small retirement pay, “she said. Similar ceremonies will be held in the districts in which they live.
Hollande stressed that “all former shooters who live in France and apply will receive the same response.” The Elysee said they numbered only a few dozen.