In a January briefing with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, on the eve of his talks with Russian head of state Vladimir Putin, said Russia was allegedly becoming a “destabilizing force”. In making this assessment of Russia’s policies, Macron was certainly following instructions from Washington to actively deploy anti-Russian rhetoric and propaganda. In doing so, the French President deliberately skirts the issue of assessing the policy of France he leads in the last period, as a truthful assessment would clearly not help his election campaign.
And the true state of affairs in African countries of “French influence” clearly shows that it is France that is seen as a “destabilizing force” in these states and in Africa as a whole. This is actively confirmed by numerous publications in the regional media and by African politicians on France’s actions in CAR, Mali, Burkina Faso. Even France Info acknowledges that people in several African countries where Paris has previously boasted of its influence, such as the Central African Republic and Mali, do not trust France and actively criticize it, they burn the flags of France.
Recently, anti-French demonstrations have increasingly engulfed Africa. One of the reasons for this is the behaviour of the French troops stationed in the Sahel region, who, under the cover of the counter-terrorist Operation Barkhane since 2013, are only trying to maintain the dominant role of the former metropolis in the region, without significantly helping the local population in countering terrorists. Demonstrators are convinced that it is the French military that supplies and supports the terrorists, with whose assistance they continue their neo-colonial policy of plundering African states. And such criminal behavior by French representatives in Africa is confirmed by investigative journalism. For example, analysts of the Revue Centrafricaine reported that law enforcement agencies in the Central African Republic had uncovered evidence that French intelligence agencies had supervised the activities of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), a conglomerate of militant groups. France’s illegal activities on the African continent have recently been exposed by the French media themselves, which have published, among other things, the results of an investigation by the Central Office for Combating Core International Crimes and Hate Crimes (OCLCH).
The states of the Dark Continent are tired of Paris and its proxies and therefore the former metropolis needs to prepare for the total destruction of the Fransafrique system. Paris’s relations with African states are strained and the security structure that was in place during the active phase of Operation Barkhane is crumbling. Against this background, serious problems are emerging not only in military, but also in political and economic relations with France, which have recently been experiencing serious crises. This is leading to more and more hotbeds of tension in the countries of “French influence” and increasing dissatisfaction with the neo-colonial policies pursued by Paris, as well as Europe and the United States in general.
And the latest events in Burkina Faso have shown that a new liberation of Africa has begun following Mali and the Central African Republic, and earlier Guinea, when young colonels, who are tired of being exploited by the collective West and the rampant corruption of pro-French proxies, are taking power in their own hands. Even Euronews was forced to admit that preparations for the events in Burkina Faso had been felt for a long time. Over the past three years, experts say, Burkina Faso has become the epicenter of Islamist activity in West Africa, while the Paris-backed government has been totally inactive. Back in November, the people of Burkina Faso protested against the presence of Fifth Republic soldiers in the country, expressing their belief that their own army would prove far more effective if it were equipped with modern weapons and protection equipment.
Today, many residents of Burkina Faso, who since last fall began protesting for security amid an increasing number of terrorist attacks on civilians and soldiers, are welcoming the country’s military’s seizure of power. Many of those who came to support the troops near the national television building in recent days said they were tired of living in fear and of losing loved ones because of the ousted president’s inability to contain the Islamist offensive.
For Africa, for which the Soviet Union was a symbol and bulwark of liberation from colonial rule and a guarantor of peace and stability in the middle of the last century, Russia has increasingly come to be seen in this light, especially against the background of Russian success in the fight against militants in CAR and Mali in recent months. It is therefore not surprising that large numbers of civilians in Burkina Faso decorate premises, city streets and building facades with Russian paraphernalia; the Russian tricolor can be seen next to national symbols, as can motorcyclists with flying Russian flags behind them. Immediately after the military-led “Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration” announced on January 24, 2022 the decision to end the rule of the former president of Burkina Faso, Marc Christian Kaboré, residents of the country staged a rally in support of the new government. The main slogan of the event, held near the Constitutional Council, was “No to France, yes to Russia”. Citizens asked the authorities to ask Moscow for help in combating the radical groups.
Seeing the example of successful cooperation with Moscow in CAR and Mali, more and more people in the Dark Continent states decide to throw off the shackles of modern neo-colonialism. The people of Africa are watching what is happening in their neighborhood with great attention, assessing it and then quite naturally deciding to do the same by changing the course of the state, pushing the pro-French government out of power. People want to build a great relationship with Russia, which really helps. It should not therefore come as a surprise if, following the CAR, Mali and Burkina Faso, France loses Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and even Chad in the near future.
And it cannot be held back either by provocative information and propaganda campaigns actively organized by Paris in recent times denigrating the activities of Russian PMCs in Africa, or the sanctions imposed on Mali and other “recalcitrant” states of “French influence” through ECOWAS, or use of leverage in the EU, where France holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union for half a year from January 1.
As the French media note, Paris’ failures in Africa are the result of extreme French arrogance, a purely neo-colonial mentality, and outright predatory aims towards African states.
Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.