Film Moves Chirac To Help Forgotten Soldiers
French president JACQUES CHIRAC has restored war pensions to 80,000 African and Arab soldiers who fought for France in World War II, after he was shown a new movie chronicling their suffering. INDIGENES shows how up to 250,000 colonial troops fought on the frontline and suffered a quarter of all French losses between 1939 and 1945. They were then abandoned by the French Government and the surviving soldiers' pensions were frozen in 1959 so they received just a third of the money white ex-servicemen were given. After a succession of governments vowed but failed to make amends, Chirac has agreed to the measure - which will cost more than $188 million (GBP100 million).