France’s interference in the internal affairs of African countries, as well as the failure of the French mission to combat terrorism in the Sahel, led to the loss of this state’s influence on the continent. Aleksey Chikhachev, Senior Lecturer at the Department of European Studies at St Petersburg University and Valdai Club expert, spoke about this on Thursday, February 16.
The political scientist noted that, trying to maintain its influence in the former colonies, France often resorted to controversial methods, in connection with which in some countries they no longer perceive it as a close partner.
“African countries are interested in other partners who communicate with them on more equal and fair grounds, who can offer better economic deals and more effective security solutions,” Chikhachev said in an interview with Lenta.Ru.
Also, France’s position was greatly undermined by the decision to withdraw forces that were previously involved in the fight against terrorism in Burkina Faso and Mali.
And although the loss of influence in the Sahel was a serious blow and a strategic defeat for France, there is no talk of a complete withdrawal from the continent. The political scientist also said that Paris is currently shifting its focus towards the Gulf of Guinea – to Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, where the French presence is still maintained.
On January 25, the government of Burkina Faso asked France to withdraw its troops from the country within a month. The military is expected to leave the country within a month, reports R.T.
On January 29, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that France is still exploiting African countries. He recalled that Burkina Faso also demanded that Paris withdraw its troops from their territory. According to the President of Turkey, the state of Togo will soon make an appropriate decision, and France, in turn, will lose its own.
Erdogan noted that French President Emmanuel Macron does not have sufficient competencies to lead his country, reports NSN.
On February 2, the French Foreign Ministry announced that Russia was pursuing a “neo-colonial policy” in Africa.
A day earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow does not care about Paris’s opinion about Russia’s ties with African countries.
According to Zakharova, Paris still looks at the African continent from the point of view of the colonial past and does not see it as an independent geopolitical unit.
Russia, in turn, “always saw African countries as sovereign and independent partners.” And she knows that each African country decides on its own whether it needs to build relations with this or that state of the world, the diplomat stressed.
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