Sixty years on, Algerian desert region still struggles with effects of French nuclear tests

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  • FRANCE 24 English published this video item, entitled “Sixty years on, Algerian desert region still struggles with effects of French nuclear tests” – below is their description.

    In February 1960, France carried out its first nuclear test in the Algerian desert, codenamed “Blue Jerboa”. Three more atmospheric tests and 13 underground tests followed, until 1966. The consequences for humans and the environment were disastrous. More than 60 years on, the after-effects are still visible and the victims of nuclear tests are struggling to be heard. FRANCE 24 reports from both sides of the Mediterranean: with former French conscripts who performed their military service in Algeria and are trying to receive compensation, and Algerians, who feel abandoned to their fate.

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    In This Story: Algeria

    Algeria, officially the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest by area in the African Union and the Arab world. With an estimated population of over 44 million, it is the eighth-most populous country in Africa.

    Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the southeast by Niger, to the southwest by Mali, Mauritania, and the Western Saharan territory, to the west by Morocco, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a semi-arid geography, with most of the population living in the fertile north and the Sahara dominating the geography of the south. This arid geography makes the country very vulnerable to climate change.

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    France is a republic and the largest Western European nation. Through expansion and colonisation in the 17th and 18th centuries France became a great power and still retains territories around the world. It has a seat on the UN security council and is the world’s fourth most wealthy country with a high standard of living and strong cultural identity.

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    The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant.

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