“It's time for Paris to leave”: Africans gather in their thousands against French neo-colonialism

18.05.2022
Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini

By Matvey Arkov

Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini

Although the era of colonial powers ended in the middle of the last century, France has not yet abandoned its attempts to exploit African states. In many of the countries that gained independence from the metropolis, Paris deployed puppet politicians.

The proxies of the Fifth Republic have consistently helped their 'masters' to satisfy predatory interests at the expense of the good of the indigenous peoples of the Dark Continent. However, the situation has changed dramatically in recent years.

This week, for example, a wave of mass demonstrations hit several countries. Africans are demanding that France leave them alone and stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign republics.

The international editorial staff of the Federal Press Agency and Daria Platonova Dugina, political observer of the International Eurasianist Movement, tell us how and especially why anti-French sentiment is growing on the continent.

Chad joins the struggle

The government in N'Djamena is now led by Mahamat Déby, son of the late national leader Idriss Déby. The politician has close relations with Paris and Emmanuel Macron, who has already visited the African country in secret. The leader of the former metropolis was allegedly planning to start a war between Chad and the Central African Republic.

The Chadians closely observed the success of their neighbour. The advisory support of Russian instructors enabled the Central African Republic's national army to eliminate the main forces of the Coalition des Patriotes pour le Changement (CPC) conglomerate and restore peace to the country.

Moscow's positive influence affected the residents. The Africans saw the contrast between the Russians, who are ready to help any country that asks for it, and the French, who are only interested in the raw material base and the possibility of establishing military bases on Chadian territory. The indigenous population is not happy with this state of affairs and hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in N'Djamena.

The participants in the anti-French march brought with them the standard paraphernalia of all recent demonstrations: banners against the Paris intervention and Russian flags, which have become symbols of liberation from slavery. The demonstration in Mali the day before and the one in Chad have many parallels.

However, Bamako is already in a better position, as it is already systematically engaged in strengthening relations with Russia. The rapprochement with Moscow has paid off: with the advisory support of national instructors, the Malian army has achieved a series of resounding victories against radical gangs.

The perennial failures of French foreign policy

In an exclusive interview for the special correspondent of the international edition of the Federal Press Agency, Daria Platonova, political observer of the International Eurasian Movement, explained why Moscow's strategy has proved more advantageous than Paris's colonial policy:

"Indeed, on the African continent we are witnessing a trend of awakening from colonial slumber. This can be seen in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and, of course, in the region of Chad, where demonstrations against the French presence were held on Saturday 14 May. Among the slogans were those seen in neighbouring countries: 'No to colonisation', 'France, go away'. Symbolically, protesters held Russian flags as part of the demonstration in N'Djamena. This is no accident.

The fact is that today Russia represents an opportunity for the continent to be multipolar. Russia has a chance to restore sovereignty by working with the region to strengthen security, improve economic performance and mutually beneficial cooperation.

In reality, this is a win-win strategy, while French colonialism, which in fact largely reproduces the patterns of American neo-colonialism, if one follows neo-Marxist international relations theory, allows one to characterise France as a sub-imperialism that reproduces the hegemonic discourse of the big globalist bloc'.

Platonova pointed out that the scale of the actions indicates that France will lose its last leverage in the coming years and will be forced to leave the continent. Mali has already torn up its defence agreements with Paris. When other countries on the Dark Continent will do so is a matter of time, the expert believes:

'It is symbolic that the protesters held Russian flags as part of the demonstration. This is by no means a coincidence. For the African continent, Russia currently represents an opportunity to regain its sovereignty, to regain its independence, and to exist as a sovereign pole in a multipolar world of 'blossoming complexity'. Russia is an opportunity to restore African sovereignty'.

The vanguard of neo-colonialism

Thanks mainly to Russia, Mali was able to take the lead in the massive fight against its former metropolis. The cooperation with Moscow confirmed the fact that in previous years Paris did not try to help any of the former colonies, but only took resources from them.

"Today's demonstrations show the end of the repressive policies that France has pursued against the region. The fact that such tendencies are manifested not only in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, but also in Chad and now in Niger, where the French army has redeployed, withdrawing its forces from Mali). This is not just the beginning of the sunset, but the real end of French rule, of the 'France-Africa' era. Naturally, this provokes strong resentment on Hexagon's part.

Awareness of the end of France-Africa and the failure of the colonial mission can also explain the large-scale insertions by the French media (the Gossi affair is illustrative), as well as the various fakes promoted by the former metropolis' media system, including accusations of certain violations by the Russians and negative investigations against heads of state who have now come to power or the military. These campaigns resemble more agony than consistent investigative journalism. Everything points to the decline of French colonialism.

Moreover, it should be noted that Macron has been repeatedly criticised by the military for his lack of a clear strategy in the region. Now that his country is going through a crisis ('harakiri', as Le Pen put it) due to the anti-Russian sanctions policy and the adoption of a radical pro-Ukrainian stance, the situation of the French troop presence in Africa will worsen. We should also be prepared for new provocations from the French media. Against the backdrop of record inflation, soaring energy prices and a collapse in migration, the failure of foreign policy in Africa puts the final nail in the coffin of Macronism,' said Platonova.

Africa's bright future

The events unfolding in the Dark Continent clearly demonstrate the consequences of a predatory foreign policy based on an uncontrolled thirst for enrichment. France cannot abandon its imperial past, which prevents it from realising that its methods are obsolete

Right now, Africa is on the road to development and prosperity. This is a journey the continent has decided to embark on together with Russia, which will do all it can to help the country, interested in promoting trust and global cooperation.

"Another important trend is the blockade by the Malian authorities of some radio and television stations in the former metropolis. Africans are not only freeing themselves from the colonial hegemon that controlled them economically, but they are also freeing themselves from the cultural pressures that had been spread over the population. This is a very important topic worth paying attention to.

Africa's confrontation with France is not a struggle between 'victim and aggressor', but a basic civilisation confrontation. The West does not accept the values of African civilisation and does not allow African peoples to have their own culture and way of life. Cults, religions, traditions, collective identities are all discarded by France in an attempt to put a universal 'hipster' without identity or roots in the place of this complex and multifaceted African man.

In order to establish a full-fledged dictatorship, it is necessary to have one's own security, a productive and financial structure and, of course, a sovereign culture. All these elements are equally important. The fact that the Malians, who are in the vanguard of the anti-colonialist struggle, are fighting for independence in all fields is very important. The field of culture is the most important space for achieving independence,' Platonova concluded.