During his trip to Benin, the French president denounced Russian imperialism and colonialism. A declaration which, 60 years after Independence, seems very cheeky.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, and do you not see the beam that is in your eye? Emmanuel Macron does not seem to have read chapter 7 of the Gospel according to Matthieu very much.
On a visit to Benin, as part ofa mini-tour in sub-Saharan Africa, the President of the French Republic indulged in a diatribe against Russian colonialism. For Emmanuel Macron, “Russia is one of the last colonial imperial powers”. The reason ? The conflict in Ukraine, which Moscow invaded “to defend its interests there”.
Cheeky for a president from a country that still practices the policy of "Françafrique". To qualify his remarks, Emmanuel Macron indicated – without apologizing or even quoting France, one of the main colonial powers in Africa – that he was speaking “on a continent which has suffered colonial imperialism”. He could have added that this same continent is still subject to them.
How can a French president thus denounce the colonialism of a State which established only one colony, tiny and ephemeral, in Djibouti - the explorer Nikolaï Achinov had then left... from Ukraine -, in South Africa? the East?
“Africans like palaver, not moral lessons”
This release is indeed quite ironic. Because sixty years after independence, France still acts as a “neocolonial” power, which exasperates the African populations. The Senegalese politician Dialo Diop recalled, moreover, there is little, that there is an "unhealthy and incestuous relationship which binds the French State to the States resulting from its former colonies".
But we better understand the vehemence of Emmanuel Macron vis-à-vis Russia when we listen to what the French president said the day before. The Head of State had indeed deplored “the hypocrisy, in particular on the African continent”, due to a lack of condemnation of Russia on the part of African rulers. Emmanuel Macron was then offended "diplomatic pressure".
Here again, the parable of the straw and the beam could be recalled to the French president. Because Paris has never hesitated, in recent years, to exert pressure on certain countries, like from Mali, from Chad or even from Niger. “Africans like palavers, not moral lessons,” summarizes a Beninese observer, visibly very annoyed by the words of the president of the former French colony.