Compensation call


Michael Ferji, a blast witness, said: "My role is to increase the awareness of the public opinion and to hold those who conducted these tests … To admit their crimes and get the victims compensated."


French veterans want the Tawareq
tribe to be compensated

Many of the bedouins are worried less about the long-term health risks to which they have been exposed and more about what could happen to their children. They feel recompense is long overdue.


One tribesman said: "The French government is being called upon not only to admit what they did, but to compensate us. We feel it is one of our rights."


One veterans' group is working with French senators calling for a fund to be made available to offer compensation.


Ongoing debate


There is continuing debate about how much environmental damage was done by the nuclear tests and who is responsible.


Algerian bedouins worry about
the effects of tests on their children
French officials say that many of the tests were carried out after Algeria gained independence in 1962.


But others say Algerians did not have a choice at the time.


Ferji said: "Sixty billion euros were spent on the nuclear tests in the Algerian desert.


"I think we should be able to allocate some smaller amount to the victims."