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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #279 - Colonial Chronicles: Macron in Africa: Beautiful Speeches and Pretenses (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 8 Feb 2018 07:28:29 +0200

Despite the French president's last speech in Africa, calling for a " renewal " of relations between France and Africa, acts are far from official speeches. The (neo) colonial domination of France is still present through the CFA franc or police and military cooperation to " maintain order ". ---- The French president made a small African tour at the end of November, during which he gave his speech to Africans in front of students from the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The opportunity to present the " renewal " he claims to embody ... in words, but still not in action ! ---- For those who know Françafrique, Macron's oral shines through the omission or defense of the main institutional mechanisms of this system of (neo) colonial domination: the CFA Franc is justified by technical arguments [1], the military presence by the fight against terrorism (going so far as to assert: " you must only have one thing for the French soldiers: applaud them ! " ), the impunity and the exfiltration by France of the former president-dictator Blaise Compaoré during the uprising of the Burkinabé people in October 2014 passed over, etc.

Another subject missing from this speech as any official word of the French government in issues of African diplomacy: police and military cooperation [2], including autocratic regimes and criminals.

Tintin in Burkina , titled Survival on the Macron conference in Ouagadougou

This practice of sending advisers to the armed forces of " friendly " countries was put in place during official decolonizations, and continued until today despite reforms and constitutional developments. Today, they are mainly justified by a double-continuum discourse between security and defense on the one hand ( " the distinction between security and external security is no longer relevant " [3]) ; and between security and development (the security of the citizens of a country is necessary for it to develop) on the other hand.

The speech also puts forward a " technical " approach that would train the police to suppress events less brutally ; sharing the "French know-how " mentioned by Michèle Alliot Marie in 2011 during the Tunisian uprising. Admittedly, our police officers make fewer victims than Togolese or Cameroonian armies (to take the last two examples), but the regimes thus supported are often even more illegitimate than ours, given their conditions of accession to power.

Diplomatic advisors from the shadows

The support, the provision of counselors and advisers, is often reinforced by the supply of so-called " security " equipment, and with the financing of private or parapublic French operators ... all this in the greatest opacity .

Thus, during demonstrations or uprisings in countries under cooperation agreement, French diplomacy often calls for the measure, dialogue, sending back the demonstrators and the power, while pursuing without blinking the support to the repressive apparatus of power via police and military cooperation.

Fortunately, protesters and protesters from Burkina Faso did not listen to France's calls for dialogue and restraint in 2014, while Blaise Compaoré wanted to tamper with the constitution to stay in power ... this one would probably still be in place and supported in the name of stability so dear to French diplomacy.

It is this same leitmotiv that, despite the rhetoric of renewal, justifies the French support for a number of " sustainable " dictatorships of Françafrique, as in Gabon or Togo (50 years of reign for the Bongo and Gnassigbe-Eyadema families respectively) . Change is not to be expected from France, but from the capacity of peoples to rise, despite the repressive forces that our country supports and strengthens !

Christmas Surge (AL Carcassonne)

[1] See in this regard Article Odile Tobner in the November issue of Alternative Libertaire .

[2] The Survie Association released a report on this topic in advance of Macron's Africa tour, available online at Survie.org.

[3] See the 2013 Defense White Paper.

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