The unleashing of anti-French sentiment


During an interview granted to the TV5 Monde media on the occasion of the 18th Francophonie Summit in Tunis, President Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of fomenting anti-French propaganda in Africa and of serving “predatory” ambitions in the troubled African countries. Macron was asked to respond to critics who say France is exploiting historical economic and political ties in its former colonies to serve its own interests: “I’m not fooled, a lot of influencers, sometimes speaking in your programs, are paid by the Russians. We know them,” he said.

France is a former colonial power in much of West and Central Africa and has long had military ties across Francophone Africa, with French troops stationed in Mali for 10 years as part of its counter-terrorism operations. So, critics accused the French operation of being a failure and further destabilizing the region.

The Élysée has always accused Russia of being the main source of anti-French sentiment in Africa. The ten-year military presence in Mali has had mixed results, if the French observation is correct, most nevertheless make mistakes: they forget that this negative perception is not new and they put forward explanations which tend to minimize or to caricature the reasons for this discredit. In his speech, the French head of state mentioned a political project using disinformation and social networks financed by several countries, including Russia.

However, colonization was a terrible experience for Africans. No doubt about it, the French president has still not considered the option of African countries simply wanting to “separate” from the colonial policy of the Élysée. Francophone Africa contains the least economically advanced countries. No need to be a genius to understand that African poverty is linked to the nominal independence of the former colonists. According to Abderrazak Makri, President of the largest Islamic party in Algeria: “France is committing more atrocious crimes today than in the era of colonization.”

“What France is doing after the independence of African countries is worse than what they did during the occupation. France colonized and withdrew from African countries a few years ago, but deploying armed forces troops to counter what it calls “terrorist activity”, so its influence will remain even after departure.”

After independence, France imposed two conditions on African countries: the first was that French should be the official language and the language of instruction of the former colonies, and the second was that countries which are former French colonies must protect French interests and give priority to French companies in public tenders. French companies have priority in the allocation of public projects. However, if necessary, these countries can turn to other sources.

By deceiving Africans, Macron called for closing a page of history, saying that colonialism had been a “fault of the Republic” while today, in the countries of the Sahel and West Africa , we see many intellectuals, academics and young people aware of the dangers of the French presence and of their interest in these countries.