French President Emmanuel Macron during a speech in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. He accuses Russia of being “a new colonial power” in Africa, and of waging a “hybrid war” in the world.
Visiting Benin, a former country colonized by the France, Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of being “one of the last colonial imperial powers” and of waging a new form of “hybrid warfare” in the world.
Five months after the start of the war in Ukraine, the French president continues to raise his voice against the policy of Vladimir Putin, affirming that when we say things and try to qualify them, we give ourselves the means to influence events.
Since his arrival in Africa, in Cameroon on Tuesday, then in Benin on Wednesday, he has multiplied criticism of Moscow while, at the same time, the leader of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, was also on an African tour to affirm his attachment to the continent.
Russia is one of the last colonial imperial powers in deciding to invade a neighboring country to defend its interests there, Emmanuel Macron said during a press conference with his Beninese counterpart Patrice Talon in Cotonou .
I'm speaking on a continent [Africa, editor's note] which has suffered colonial imperialism, he insisted.
In Yaoundé and then in Cotonou, the French president sought to warn African capitals against the new type of hybrid world war being waged by Moscow, which has decided that information, energy and energy; food were military instruments used in the war in Ukraine.
The day before, he had bluntly denounced the hypocrisy, heard in particular on the African continent, consisting in failing to clearly recognize that Russia was carrying out unilateral aggression in Ukraine because there is diplomatic pressure.
Like Cameroonian President Paul Biya, several African leaders do not officially condemn the Russian intervention, which is also the case in the Middle East. The subject should be discussed at the dinner that Emmanuel Macron will share Thursday at the Élysée with the strong man of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.
Responding from a distance, Sergei Lavrov claimed in Uganda that Russia was not responsible for the energy and food crises, denouncing a very vocal campaign around this.
Russia is also targeted by Emmanuel Macron for his activism in Africa, in particular through the sulphurous paramilitary group Wagner, which, according to him, comes in support either of weakened political powers which are struggling to to assume, either to illegitimate juntas, in the Central African Republic and in Mali.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Uganda during his African tour to affirm his attachment to the continent.
On the contrary, the French president puts forward his new vision of relations between France and Africa, presenting Benin as one of the countries tests of this desire to establish a win-win partnership.
Relations with Paris are uninhibited and rid of the heaviness of the past, welcomed Beninese President Patrice Talon, not hiding the complicity established with his French counterpart.
Le The main factor in this improvement is linked to the return to Benin by France of 26 works from the royal treasures of Abomey, capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey, which had been looted in 1892 by French colonial troops.
< p class="e-p">These restitutions changed the image of France by showing that it was possible to establish a relationship of equals, and to dispel the feeling of the Beninese that the French still had a complex of superiority, explains José Pliya, adviser to Patrice Talon for heritage.
After visiting the exhibition of these treasures in Cotonou, Emmanuel Macron assured that this process would continue, while the Beninese would like the return to the country of other symbolic works, such as the sculpture of the God Gou, owned by the Louvre Museum.
He also affirmed that France would always be in support of Benin for its security, particularly in terms of intelligence and equipment, to deal with the multiplication of jihadist attacks in the north, on the border with Burkina Faso and Niger.
But Patrice Talon urged Paris to move faster in the supply of x27;equipment, including drones.
Anxious to highlight the role of regional organizations, Emmanuel Macron said he was willing to participate in a meeting of the Accra initiative that brings together six West African countries in the fight against jihadism.
In the same objective, he is expected in Guinea-Bissau to discuss Thursday with its president who has just taken over the presidency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).