28th May 2017
France Gives Surprise Citizenship to 28 African World War 2 Veterans!!
By a press release (02/05/17)
French President Francois Hollande has given citizenship to 28 Africans who fought for France in World War Two and other wars.
The veterans - many from Senegal, and aged between 78 and 90, surprisingly received their new certificates of citizenship at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Pictured: President of France Francois Hollande).
The granddaughter of a Senegalese soldier, Aissatou Seck, who is herself Deputy Mayor of a Parisian suburb, has been a lead campaigner for African veterans' rights.
The veterans have long been struggling for recognition and equality in France. Until 2010, they received lower pensions than their French counterparts.
Their ambiguous status also meant they lacked access to other benefits and sometimes found it difficult to travel, said the BBC's Africa editor, Mary Harper.