French President Emmanuel Macron accuses Russia and Turkey of stirring up anti-French sentiments in Africa. They do this by financially supporting people who incite resentment against France through the media, Macron said in an interview.
“We should not be naive about this subject: many of those who speak, who make videos, who are present in the French-language media are funded by Russia or Turkey,” he told Jeune Afrique magazine. He accuses Moscow and Ankara of “capitalizing on post-colonial resentment” in Africa.
In the lengthy interview, Macron emphasizes the “fair relationship” and “true partnership” that France has been trying to build with the continent since coming to power in 2017, eliminating “taboos” culturally, economically and entrepreneurially.
He also mentioned the possible restitution of works of African heritage to different countries such as Senegal, Benin or Madagascar.
“I think it should be a love story between France and Africa,” Macron said, believing that “we shouldn’t be prisoners of our past.” He emphasizes that his diplomacy “is not limited to French-speaking Africa” and that he has “visited countries that no French president has yet visited”.
After visiting Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya in particular, he hopes to go to South Africa and Angola soon.
Macron also said he would rule out negotiations with jihadist groups in the Sahel region of Africa. France has deployed thousand-strong troops there. “We don’t talk to terrorists. We fight,” Macron said.
He said France could talk to various political and other groups, but not terrorist “entities that continue to kill civilians and soldiers, including our soldiers.”