EEmmanuel Macron announced the end of the “French era Africa” Now Paris will act as a “neutral interlocutor,” the president said. He is currently in Gabon as part of a four-day tour of Africa
Emmanuel Macron (center) during a visit to Gabon
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the era of “Francafrica” has ended, his words are quoted by BFMTV.
The Head of State went on a four-day trip to Africa. The first stop is in Gabon. Macron, together with the heads of several Central African states, participates in the One Forest Summit dedicated to the protection of forests, in Libreville. After Gabon, he will visit Angola, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to Macron, Paris will now act as a “neutral interlocutor” on the mainland. “Sometimes I have a feeling that the mentality is not changing at the same pace as we are, when I read, hear, see that France is still being credited with intentions that it no longer has,” he noted.
Back in 2019, Macron called colonialism a big mistake. He noted that he belongs to a generation that does not belong to the era of colonization.
At the end of February, the French leader, speaking about Paris’ new policy towards African countries, said that Africa is anything but a land of suffering and submission. This is the land of optimism and voluntarism. He also said at the time that the number of French troops in Africa would significantly decrease in the coming months. The main French base is located in Côte d’Ivoire, near Abidjan, where 900 people are stationed, and 350 military personnel are stationed in Senegal and Gabon. More than 2,500 are dispersed in Niger and Chad after the withdrawal of French troops from Mali and Burkina Faso.
Last summer, the Elysee Palace announced the completion of the withdrawal of troops from Mali after nine years of presence due to the position of the military ruling after the coup.
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In November last year, Macron announced the end of the anti-terrorist operation “Barkhan” in the Sahel region, launched in 2014. At the end of January this year, France announced the withdrawal of troops from Burkina Faso within a month, after the junta in power denounced the 2018 agreement concerning the status of French troops.
In the summer, Macron accused Russia of a “hybrid presence” in Africa due to the development of propaganda, due to the intervention of Wagnerians. The EU claimed that in Mali, due to the reduction of the French military presence, mercenaries of the PMCs “Wagner” were deployed. Bamako did not confirm this, although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Malian authorities had turned to one of the Russian PMCs for help in the fight against terrorism. Lavrov called Macron’s words offensive to African countries, noting that he expected more ethical statements from Paris.
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