July 31, 2023

Africa, France’s Golden Goose


French leaders need to brush up on their reading of Aesop's Fables.

An excerpt from, "France, West Africa, New Colonialism and Competition" Ankasam, August 17, 2022:

The colonial activities of France in West Africa started in 1637 by the Atlantic Ocean of the Senegal River and spread inland over time. French colonialism ended shortly after France’s Fifth Republic Era began, extending to Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Niger. For over 300 years, France has exploited the region’s resources and people through various methods, including trafficking enslaved people in West Africa. In other words, the Paris administration developed the French economy through the colonies.

An excerpt from, "France’s Role In The 1994 Rwandan Genocide" Human Rights Pulse, June 3, 2021:

In April 2021, a report commissioned by the Rwandan government placed “significant” responsibility on the French government for “enabling a foreseeable genocide”. In April and May of 1994, an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu militia. Despite evidence of a planned Tutsi extermination, France willingly supported the Rwandan government and subsequently endeavoured to conceal its role in the aftermath of the genocide. While the report clears France of any complicity, it outlines France’s stringent commitment to geopolitical aims in the face of a genocidal regime. 

Years of ethnic tension and animosity culminated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where members of the Hutu ethnic majority set out to exterminate the minority Tutsi population. The genocide lasted for a period of around 100 days with shocking speed and brutality that left the world in categoric disbelief. In the aftermath, importance was placed on efforts to provide an understanding and awareness of the factors that contributed to such a horrifying reality. The most recent effort is the Rwandan-commissioned report.

An excerpt from, "In Mali’s Shadow: A Short History of French Military Mishaps in Africa" Time, January 18, 2013:

The French are not cheese-eating surrender monkeys. That’s an old canard—you  know, a French word—sealed by unfortunate performances in the World Wars. But, as France’s robust recent intervention into Mali shows, there’s plenty of esprit de corps in Paris, particularly when it comes to Africa. More than any of the other lapsed European empires, the French retained a domineering role in former colonies there, safeguarding their own extensive economic interests in the region with hard power and frequently sending in troops to back one client regime or the other in periods of civil strife and insurgent crisis. The French have intervened in Africa 50 times since 1960.

An excerpt from, "French embassy in Niger is attacked as protesters waving Russian flags march through capital" AP, July 30, 2023:

Thousands of people backing the coup in Niger marched through the streets of the capital denouncing France, the country’s former colonial power, waving Russian flags, and setting a door at the French Embassy ablaze on Sunday before the army broke up the crowd.

Demonstrators in Niger are openly resentful of France, and Russia is seen by some as a powerful alternative. The nature of Russia’s involvement in the rallies, if any, isn’t clear but some protesters have carried Russian flags, along with signs reading “Down with France” and supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.