Some of the last survivors in France from a colonial-era infantry corps that recruited tens of thousands of African soldiers to fight in French wars around the world will be able to live out their final days with family members back in Africa after a French government U-turn on their pension rights. The decision to make claiming their pensions easier was confirmed on Wednesday. It follows a years-long campaign on behalf of the “tirailleurs Sénégalais,” who were recruited to fight from Senegal and other former French ruled nations in sub-Saharan Africa. The pension decision concerns only 22 of the former soldiers who collect a monthly payment of $1,000, the government’s Solidarity Ministry said. They’ll no longer have to spend six months of the year in France to be eligible and will continue receiving their pension payments even if they move away permanently, the ministry added. The announcement coincides with the cinema release in France of a movie highlighting the sacrifices made by African soldiers on bloody French battlefields in World War I. “Tirailleurs”.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS