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Who is Bernard Lugan, Eric Zemmour's "Mr. Africa"?

Eric Zemmour would have found his specialist in Africa, in the person of Bernard Lugan. A controversial profile, as the work of the historian is decried.

He is, according to Le Canard enchaîné, the “compass” for Eric Zemmour in Africa. Bernard Lugan presents himself as a historian. But the man is best known for being an aficionado of white supremacy.

Eric Zemmour and Africa is a somewhat complicated story. It must be said that the positions of the polemicist who have become very political have made a lot of noise on the continent. In May 2021, Zemmour affirmed, sure of himself, that “all crack traffickers are Senegalese”. Consequence: the Senegalese government had reacted and deplored the exit of the presidential candidate. We thought then that Zemmour would not have an elaborate African policy in its program.

The "African" entourage of Zemmour

But at the end of last December, the candidate for the future French presidential put down his suitcases in Abidjan, in Côte d'Ivoire. The far-right candidate then decided to visit the Port-Bouët logistics camp and meet the French forces in Côte d'Ivoire. A Christmas present which had not necessarily pleased the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, which then considered that Zemmour had failed in its “moral commitment” by making his visit a media campaign.

Since then, no one knows more about the African policy that Zemmour will pursue if he is elected president. But the candidate has however surrounded himself, for the occasion, with a certain number of specialists. Among them, ensures the press, Olivier Pardo, lawyer of the president of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the company Avisa Partners or Olivier Ubéda, who worked in Guinea.

And so, Bernard Lugan. A specialist in the Sahel, according to his supporters, he "proclaimed himself, during his long career, a specialist in South Africa, then Rwanda, then Morocco, then Egypt, then the rest of North Africa", summarizes Africa XXI. Author of the book "The wars of the Sahel, from the origins to the present day", Lugan has become the referent, with French parliamentarians, of the Sahel file. In times of war in Mali in particular, with Operation Barkhane, Lugan therefore surfs on the news.

Simplistic reasoning full of errors

If he is criticized by historians, who see him as an impostor, Lugan is above all considered a proven racist. In "Real Africa", a letter launched by him several years ago, he notably defended apartheid, assuring in particular that whites have "the anteriority of the presence on 50% of South Africa where they arrived before the blacks" or assuring that "the future of the white tribe passes through the creation of a Volkstaat". In other words, an Afrikaner state. “Apartheid must be separation, but in good friendship, even dares the historian. Everyone at home, at no time should there be exploitation of one by the other”.

In addition to radical positions, marked by a love for race and ethnicity, Lugan has also been noted by other historians for his numerous factual errors. Afrique XXI also recalls that it never publishes in scientific journals. “Lugan is not just talking nonsense, nuance a researcher at the African newspaper. But he develops far too simplistic ideas. It denies complexity. With him, everything is binary. Eric Zemmour has found his alter ego: a man with simplistic reasoning, for whom the white race must dominate. It now remains to be seen what African policy Bernard Lugan will propose.

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