De Gaulle tells Moslems they will have equality with French in Algeria

CONSTANTINE, Algeria, June 5, 1958 (UPI) - Gen. Charles de Gaulle made another bid for peace in war-torn Algeria today. He renewed his pledge to the country's Moslems that they would have absolute equality with Frenchmen. He also appealed to the Moslem rebels to lay down their arms now that France had "opened the door to reconciliation."

The new premier came to this center of Algerian fighting and was greeted by a happy, shouting crowd of 50,000 persons, most of them Moslems. It was a welcome almost as clamorous as the one he received yesterday in Algiers.


De Gaulle came here to try to stop the 3 1/2-year-old war and to crush right-wing French colonials.

De Gaulle told the Moslems today what he had promised them in Algiers yesterday - they will take part on an equal basis with Frenchmen in the national referendum he plans this fall on French constitutional reforms.

Then he went a step further and said the Moslems also will vote in the same manner as Frenchmen in future general elections. In the past the Moslems have had little or no voice in Algerian government - it was left to the Frenchmen, who make up 10 % of the population.


The crowds cheered his DC-3 plane when it landed at the military Oued Hamimine Airfield and they kept cheering all along the 10-mile route into this ancient mountain-top city, scene of recent rebel bombings.

De Gaulle did not win over the hard-bitten right-wing colonials who hate the Moslems and want to win the war on their own terms.

But his gesture delighted the French Algerians of the public safety committees who regard integration as the main hope for winning over the Moslems and ending the war.

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