National Harki Day in France Date in the current year: September 25, 2016

National Harki Day in France September 25 is National Harki Day (also known as Day of National Recognition for the Harkis) in France. This observance was introduced in 2001 and it commemorates Harki, Muslim Algerian loyalists who served in French Army during the Algerian War (1954-1962).

Muslim Algerians have become a significant part of the French troops since 1830. They played an important role in the Franco-Prussian War, Wold War I and World War II. But with the outbreak of the Algerian War the loyalty of Algerian soldiers to France came under heavy strain. Many of the regular Algerian units were transferred to Germany or France.

French administration used Muslim Algerians on irregular basis in their home villages and towns. The Harkis were lightly armed and had almost no value as the troops. At the same time the Harkis were valuable auxiliaries to French regular units due to their knowledge of local terrain.

National Harki Day was established by President Jacques Chirac on September 25, 2001. And in 2012 President Nicolas Sarkozy recognized France's responsibility for abandoning Harki veterans at the time of the war. Today Day of National Recognition for the Harkis is observed to commemorate the importance of the Harkis for France.

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