Today, those that have been given citizenship can now travel freely between France and their homes in Africa. Aissatou Seck, a deputy mayor of a suburb in Paris who has been campaigning for the rights of African veterans, says there are hundreds of citizenship applications that Hollande has promised to process.

Whether that will be enough is unclear. “I’m not sure France can ever fully repay that debt, but these moves to try to do so are certainly better than nothing,” says Fogarty.

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