“This is to remind our friends in France that there is no alternative but to recognise they made mistakes, they tortured and killed our people,” Bouteflika told thousands of supporters on Thursday in the city of Setif, which suffered French repression in 1945.
Algeria and France are gradually normalising ties and hope to sign a friendship treaty by the end of the year similar to the 1963 Franco-German reconciliation treaty.
The North African state has stepped up demands for France to recognise the mistakes and wrongs of colonial rule, which ended in 1962 after a bloody war of independence.
Algeria says France massacred 45,000 Algerians who took to the streets to demand independence as Europe celebrated victory over Nazi Germany on 8 May 1945.
“This is to remind our friends in France that there is no alternative but to recognise they made mistakes, they tortured and killed our people”
“People in this city (Setif) know better than anyone else what happened during the events of 8 May 1945, when Algerian people took to the streets to celebrate victory of the allies… everybody knows how occupation forces received our people. They massacred them and killed them,” Bouteflika said.
Many Algerian political figures and historians say the massacres of 8 May 1945 were genocide and want compensation.
Colonial French forces launched an air and ground offensive against several eastern cities in response to anti-French riots which killed some 100 Europeans.
According to the Algerian state, some 45,000 people died in the crackdown. European historians put the number at 15,000-20,000.