• Tuesday, December 10, 2019

French troops in Mali campaign face storms, mud, mistrust

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by Vergennes, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes PROFESSIONAL

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    [​IMG]

    The French soldiers seeking out jihadists in central Mali's savannahs were prepared for the sandstorms, the thunderstorms, the lack of anything resembling a road and the need to tow vehicles whose wheels kept getting stuck in floodplains.

    They knew getting information out of terrified villagers would be difficult.

    [​IMG]
    A French soldier of the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment conducts an area control operation.

    But as the multi-week operation wore on in Gourma district, where 400 French troops and 100 allied Malians searched for 50-odd jihadists they estimated were hiding in the shadows, the obstacles kept piling up.

    First, there were the storms, forcing them to abandon supper, pack up their mosquito nets and sleep contorted in their vehicles. Then up at 3 a.m. for a mission that couldn't start because the weather had grounded their helicopters at base.



    [​IMG]
    French soldiers patrol in an all terrain armoured vehicle.

    Then, flash floods turned sandy ground to sludge and burst the wadis so only their newly deployed tracked fighting vehicles could cross.

    When they reached the thatch-and-wood villages where they suspected jihadists were hiding. Men tended cows. Women pounded millet. Everyone smiled. And nobody told them anything.

    [​IMG]
    Commander David talks with Almedi Ag Agissa, a vegetable grower who benefitted from a small aid project to build a communal tool shed.

    "We're not going to resolve this in a day," said David, the commander of the French forward base near the town of Gossi. French military rules permit publication only of his first name. "This is going to take some time."

    Efforts led by France to stop a region on Europe's doorstep becoming a launchpad for attacks at home are increasingly trapped in an endless cat-and-mouse game with well-armed jihadists, who know the terrain and hide easily among civilians.

    On a rare reporting trip with the French troops into central Mali, Reuters journalists saw first-hand why a five-year-old mission -- initially planned as a short-term stopgap to hand over to local forces -- may have many more years left to run.

    [​IMG]
    Local women and children arrive at an abandoned clinic to receive medical care from the French military.

    The 4,500 French troops deployed in this patchwork of former French colonies for 'Operation Barkhane' face huge logistical challenges in hostile terrain. Hardest of all, they rely on the cooperation of a civilian population spread thinly across vast and remote spaces, often either sympathetic to the Islamists or terrified of informing on them.

    In Gossi, a haven for Islamic State fighters next to the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger, the town's local government councillor had fled after being threatened and was now sleeping in the Malian base, the French base Commander, David, said.

    [​IMG]
    French soldiers of the Belleface Desert Tactical Group (GTD) set up a temporary forward operating base.

    Operation Barkhane was launched in the wake of Operation Serval, a French offensive that pushed back Tuareg rebels and allied Islamists from northern Mali's vast desert in 2013.

    While Serval had brought moderate stability to northern Mali, unrest had spread to the country's more populated centre, with attacks also reaching neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger and even Ivory Coast.

    [​IMG]
    Colonel Nicolas James poses for a photo at the Operational Desert Platform Camp.

    With no end date announced at its launch, the follow-up operation would try to stabilise countries in the region by assisting their governments in a West African anti-terrorism force. Five years on, no end is in sight.

    "We have a dogged adversary, who is tough, drawing from a breeding ground that is favourable to him because the population is isolated," Colonel Nicolas James, Commander of Desert Tactical Croup Belleface, told Reuters at its base in Gao.

    [​IMG]
    French soldiers of the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment search a metal case during an area control operation.

    On the first day of one mission, in 40 degree Celsius (104 F), the French soldiers arrived in a hamlet 10km north of Ndaki town, next to a small wood where suspected jihadists had been seen fleeing earlier.

    They separated the women and children outside a thatched dome where camels chewed cud. They searched the men, took their smartphones and copied them onto a computer. One contained incriminating jihadist propaganda.

    [​IMG]
    Military clothes are found during an area control operation carried out by French soldiers.

    "Is this your telephone?" a soldier asked the suspect, and he nodded. They fingerprinted him, but with just circumstantial evidence, they let him go.

    "I'm sure he's a jihadist," a French soldier guarding him later whispered. "He's making fun of us."

    An elderly man in the flowing robes common to the Fulani people spread across the region brought out some fresh milk as a gesture of hospitality. Only two tried it, before they moved on to the next village.

    [​IMG]
    French soldiers of the Belleface Desert Tactical Group (GTD) try to move an all terrain armoured vehicle from the mud.

    That night it rained hard, so the next afternoon a logistics team spent all day towing vehicles out of mud. The mission set off before noon. When the troops returned nearly nine hours later, they'd covered just 5 km.

    At one stage they heard reports of an armed group heading towards them. War planes were called in to scare the fighters off. One unit wanted to check a forest where weapons had been abandoned, but the troops were still stuck towing vehicles.

    The next morning a joint Malian-French mission visited a Fulani village next to woodland where they had spotted some men fleeing. The village chief, a bearded man with a green scarf and sky-blue robe, denied seeing any armed men.

    [​IMG]
    Military police unit Captain Balassine invites locals to come for a free health check-up.

    "They want to talk to us but they are afraid," Malian military police unit Captain Balassine later told Reuters.

    "The other day we were talking to a young girl," he continued. "First she lied. Then she said she was scared of talking because, after we leave, people will come and kill her."

    Malian military police unit Captain Balassine later told Reuters: "they want to talk to us but they are afraid."

    "The other day we were talking to a young girl," he continued. "First she lied. Then she said she was scared of talking because, after we leave, people will come and kill her."

    https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/french-troops-in-mali-campaign-face-storms-mud-mistrust
     
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  2. thebaj

    thebaj FULL MEMBER

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    COIN is a difficult, laborious and petty work, that takes a huge toll on logistics and morale of troops. There needs to be a better way of doing this: hearts and minds, as in bring economic betterment to the area and instead of wasting money on military oips, spend the same amount of money on development and you'll see better results in the long run.
     
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  3. Vortex

    Vortex SENIOR MEMBER

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    @Vergennes What i’m going to say is not what people, and myself too, want to read or hear, but I have to say it, we need to send more troops to really clean the country from terrorists.

    I know I’m not the soldier who will go there to risk my own life, so it’s hard to write what wrote, but if we really want to eliminate terrorists we should go with full force... currently it looks more like mouse and cat game played by both side for reasons unknown to me.

    Of course I could be wrong as I’m not an expert on military questions.
     
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  4. oprih

    oprih BANNED

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    The french are there to terrorize and steal from black people as usual, i'm glad most Africans consider the french as devils and have no trust in them.
     
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  5. Pakhtoon yum

    Pakhtoon yum SENIOR MEMBER

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    Why the hell is this European country still allowed to operate in Africa. These thiefs stole everything from Africans.
     
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  6. Clutch

    Clutch ELITE MEMBER

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    Tax collection



    [​IMG]
    French colonial tax still enforce for Africa
    14.01.2015 15:26
    After the French destroyed Guinea who had sought independence, the alternative was to pay a tax. No African country could estimate the effect this had on 14 different countries.

    World Bulletin/News Desk

    When Guinea demanded independence from French colonial rule in 1958, the French unleashed their fury with more than 3,000 leaving the country taking their enteire property. In addition, they destroyed anything that couldn't be taken – destroying schools, nurseries, public administration buildings, cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged, animals killed and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned. In effect they were sending a message to all other colonies that the consqueences for jrejecting France would be high.

    Colonialism as an enduring stain in Africa’s history, and economic oppression continue to exist. An article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, peace activist and editor of SiliconAfrica.com addressed this practice.

    The article called attention to an ongoing practice by which former African countries are forced to pay a colonial tax to France – even today. In fact, France continues to thrive on the practice, which extracts approximately 500 billion dollars from African countries each year.

    As Koutonin notes, this outrageous tax deprives African economies of much needed funds, exacerbates debt, and strips their authority over their own natural reserves. But the detriments are more than just economic, as the ills of colonialism manifest in social ways that are equally devastating to the dignity and identity of the African people:

    Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the Republic of Togo, instead of signing the colonisation continuation pact with De Gaulle, instead agreed to pay an annual debt to France for the so called benefits of French colonisation. This prevented the French not destroying the country before they left however the amount estimated by France was so big that the reimbursement of the so called “colonial debt” was close to 40% of the country budget in 1963. Olympio’s dream was to build an independent and self-sufficient and self-reliant country but the French had him killed by a seargeant who was given a $612 bounty by the French embassy.

    History has shown that despite years of African fighting to liberate themselves, France repeatedly used many exForeign legionnaires to carry out coups against elected presidents. This included Jean-Bedel Bokassa who assassinated David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic. In the last 50 years, a total of 67 coups has occurred in 26 African countries, of which 16 are ex-French colonies. This indicates that France is desperate to hold on to whatever land it has in Africa.

    In March 2008, former French President Jacques Chirac said:
    “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power” and that Chirac’s predecessor François Mitterand already prophesied in 1957 that: “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century”.

    [​IMG]

    Colonial Tax in Billions

    As of January 2014, 14 african countries are obliged by France, through a colonial pact, to put 85% of their foreign reserve into France central bank under French minister of Finance control.They are effectively putting in 500 Billion dollars every year to the French treasury. African leaders who refuse are killed or victim of coup. Those who obey are supported and rewarded by France with lavish lifestyle while their people endure extreme poverty, and desperation.

    There are a number of components of the colonisation pact that has been in effect since the 1950's. The main points being that the African countries should deposit their national monetary reserves in the France Central Bank. France has been holding the national reserves of fourteen african countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

    Despite the two main African banks having African names, they have no monetary policies of their own. In fact France allows them to access only 15% of the money in any given year. If there is need for any more, they need to borrow the extra money from their own 65% from the French Treasury at commercial rates.

    The pact also included claused that Africa had an obligation to make French the official language of the country and the language for education and an obligation to use France colonial money FCFA (the Nordic countries tried unsuccessfully to get rid of this system when they discovered this).Also, they were obliged to send France an annual balance and reserve report. If they refused to send it, they would not be entitled to any money .

    Obligation to ally with France in situation of war or global crisis

    Over one million Africans soldiers fought for the defeat of nazism and fascism during the second world war. With their contribution ignored or minimised, the French know that Africans could be useful for fighting, which in effect shows that France is psychopathic when it comes to Africa.

    The only question that remains unanswered however is when people first reaction when they learn about the french colonial tax is often a question: “Until when?”

    Christof Lehmann wrote for nsnbc.me in 2012, “France is indebting and enslaving Africans by means of Africa’s own wealth; for example: 12.0000 billion invested at three percent creates 360 billion in interests which France grants as credits to Africa at an interest rate of five to six percent or more. The allegory of ‘Bleeding Africa and Feeding France’ is no exaggeration, not alarmist, and not revolutionary.”
     
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  7. Vergennes

    Vergennes PROFESSIONAL

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    This region is an entire clusterfuck. You have fragile states that can't control most of their territory,where the state has basically no hold or presence,coupled with inter ethnic tensions (different ethnic groups slaughtering each others on daily basis) on which criminal and terrorist groups benefit from the sitation to carry on their activities and different politico-armed groups pushing for different agendas.

    The local states are simply too fragile and do not have enough ressources to stand alone against the terror threat,but I don't think sending in more troops will help improve the situation.

    We should strenghten their forces and provide them the means in order to secure their large territories. Train and equip them. We can't stay there forever,there's going to be a day where most of French troops will leave,however we should leave some capacities there such as air and intelligence support,which these countries critically lack.

    And above all,some actors are trying to drag France into their internal political and inter-ethnic tensions,we should only focus on our anti terror mission.

    Because the said African countries allowed this "European country" to operate on their territory and asked this "European country" for military assistance. Without this "European country" the countries of the Sahel region would fall within weeks (as we nearly saw with Mali in 2013) and be replaced by some kind of jihadist superstate.

    Still posting that BS...
     
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  8. Clutch

    Clutch ELITE MEMBER

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    Why? Just because it bothers you? Here is another source, BBC, also not credible???

    African protests over the CFA 'colonial currency'
    By Lamine KonkoboBBC Africa
    Share this with Email Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Whatsapp
    Image copyrightAFP[​IMG]
    Image captionThe arrest of Kemi Seba reignited the anti-CFA currency protest
    A controversial Franco-Beninese activist who was charged over burning a 5,000 CFA note has been acquitted by a court in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

    Kemi Seba was arrested last week following a complaint by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

    The CFA is a colonial-era currency that is still used in several former French colonies in Africa.

    Mr Seba is among many activists calling for the CFA to be abandoned, saying it is a relic of French colonialism.

    Image copyrightAFP[​IMG]
    Image captionKemi Seba is calling for the CFA to be abandoned
    On Friday 25 August police officers descended on a residence in Dakar with an arrest warrant for probably one of the most controversial black activists in the Francophone world.

    A week earlier, at a demonstration, Kemi Seba, whose real name is Stellio Gilles Robert Capochichi, in a symbolic public protest against the CFA, burnt a 5,000 CFA bank note.

    The CFA is used in 12 francophone African countries as well as Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea.

    The BCEAO, which prints the notes for West Africa, took issue with the public destruction of what it considered its property.

    The bank sought court action and Mr Seba was arrested on the charge of destroying property, which could have landed him in jail for up to five years if he were found guilty.

    The AFP news agency reports that he was acquitted on a technicality. Senegal's penal code punishes the destruction of banknotes rather than a single bank note.

    Mr Seba is part of a growing movement chorus calling for the CFA to be dropped.

    Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES[​IMG]
    Image captionKemi Sebi was accused of destroying a 5,000 CFA note
    Who is Kemi Seba?
    Mr Seba is a self-styled "Afrocentrist" who was notorious in France for founding a radical black segregationist movement he called Tribu Ka.

    He is driven by a belief system - known as kemetism - that is based on legends about ancient Egypt; a belief system which proclaims the supremacy of the black race.

    The controversial activist was influenced by the Nation of Islam (NOI), the black nationalist movement founded in the 1930s in the United States.

    As a young man, he travelled to the US where he handed out fliers for NOI and listened to fiery sermons by members of the organisation that once had Malcolm X as a prominent figure.

    Back in France, he became an ambassador for NOI and later created Tribu Ka.

    His activism and rhetoric led to brushes with the law and he was regularly arrested by the police for inciting hatred.

    Popular outrage against Mr Seba prompted then-president Jacques Chirac to disband Tribu Ka using a presidential decree.

    Mr Seba re-launched his movement under a new name - Generation Kemi Seba - and with mounting pressure both from civil society activists and law enforcement, he fled France for Senegal.

    Image copyrightAFP[​IMG]
    Image captionNigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, Chadian President Idriss Deby and French Emmanuel Macron trying forge new Franco-African relationship
    What is the CFA?
    The CFA franc was created by France in the late 1940s to serve as a legal tender in its then-African colonies, and it is one of the most prominent signs of France's continued influence over its former colonies.

    The CFA franc is pegged to the euro with the financial backing of the French treasury.

    While some see it as a guarantee of financial stability, others attack it as a colonial relic.

    What are the arguments for and against the currency?
    Proponents argue it shields the 14 countries using it from inflation and uncertainty, pointing at neighbouring Guinea as an example of what may happen if the CFA is dropped.

    Guinea is a rare former French colony in Africa which has its own currency. But it regularly faces currency shortages and its central bank struggles to ensure its stability.

    However, critics, such as those leading the anti-CFA movement, say true economic development for the 14 African countries can only be achieved if they get rid of the currency.

    They argue that in exchange for the guarantees provided by the French treasury, African countries channel more money to France than they receive in aid.

    They also argue that they have no say in deciding key monetary policies agreed to by European countries, which are members of the Eurozone.

    Image copyrightAFP[​IMG]
    Image captionThe French finance minister and finance ministers from CFA franc zone met in April
    Why are people unhappy about the CFA?
    Mr Seba might have been harbouring an agenda of his own when he turned up at the rally and torched the bank note.

    However, for most of the young people who attended the protest, his act was a legitimate sign of defiance against a currency they consider as a symbol of the economic and financial domination by France of the countries sharing it.

    As one young protester told local media, the act of torching of the note was like when Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader, burnt his pass book in protest against Apartheid laws.

    But the anger is not just directed at France; it also directed towards African leaders who activists accuse of being complicit with France.

    Most pro-democracy youth movements in West Africa, such as Y'en a Mare in Senegal and le Balai Citiyen in Burkina Faso, have made the scrapping of the CFA a key plank in their campaigns.

    Those movements believe that the end of the CFA will effectively end France's strong influence over their countries.

    Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES[​IMG]
    Image captionPresident Macron has said African countries can decide whether they want to keep the CFA currency
    What is France saying?
    Officials in France have remained quiet over the anti-CFA movement, probably because any response would only serve to further incense the activists.

    France is in a delicate position. Anything coming from Paris in defence of the CFA could be viewed as proof of France's vested interest in keeping the colonial-era currency.

    At any rate, no French president before Emmanuel Macron had ever expressed a willingness to let go of the CFA.

    However Mr Macron said, while campaigning to become president, that the decision to move away from the currency was for African countries to make.

    No African leaders in the 14 countries affected by the issue has publicly responded to Mr Macron's comment.
     
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  9. Vergennes

    Vergennes PROFESSIONAL

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    It doesn't bother me,you can post anything you want I don't care. I have already answered you after you brought that in almost every threads regarding France and Africa.

    You can't bring me a credible source about France taxing its former colonies,only from questionable sources. Now that you can't bring me one you are trying to divert the subject to the Franc CFA. I have already answered you on both subjects. Yet the only thing you do is posting that over and over again.
     
  10. Clutch

    Clutch ELITE MEMBER

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    Not posting it for you... For everyone else's awareness... France raped Africa now need to pay reparations
     
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  11. Vergennes

    Vergennes PROFESSIONAL

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    So can you bring a credible source about France "taxing its former colonies" ?
     
  12. Clutch

    Clutch ELITE MEMBER

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    14 African Countries Who Still Pay Colonial Tax To France
    [​IMG]


    Are you aware that many African countries still pay colonial tax to France till today? One would say that Africa is still being exploited even till date. It brings us to the conclusion that the Europeans may not want us to be greater than they are after all. An article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, peace activist and editor of SiliconAfrica.com discussed this act. The writer drew attention to the bad influence of French on the African continent and how they are still subjected to pay colonial tax for the benefits of slavery. And what’s more worrying is that French as of yet flourishes and prospers in this action and earns around over 400 billion dollars from a continent that is about to be as developed as theirs. Well, after going through this article, you will not help but say that Europeans still manipulate our dear motherland.

    African Countries Who Still Pay Colonial Tax To France
    Guinea used to be a French colonial possession in West Africa until 1958 during the fall of French Fourth Republic as a result of its political instability and its failures in handling colonies, particularly Indochina and Algeria. And the country’s independence came as a result of Sékou Touré of Guinea’s bright decision to pull out of the French colonial empire that year and pick out independence for Guinea. That notwithstanding, a lot of harm was done due to the decision which Sékou Touré took as the French colonial members in Paris didn’t find his decision pleasing. Out of sheer displeasure as great as others in the past, the French administration in Guinea wrecked anything and everything in the country that is a symbol of what they dubbed the “benefits from French colonization”.

    [​IMG]

    According to Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, the author of the article, more than two thousand French relocated from the country, collecting virtually everything they had put in place and tearing down immovable things including schools, nurseries, public offices. They ruined even the administrative buildings, cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors and they slaughtered the horses, cows in the farms. The foods were not left out of the mass destruction as they both poisoned and set food stored in warehouses on fire. Though the reason for the shockingly bad action of theirs was not stated bluntly, the underlying truth hidden in their action is basically to let other French colonies know that declining France is synonymous to facing dire and severe consequences.


    Read Also: These Three African Countries Shocked The World

    As expected, the atmosphere of fear was created making the superior selected groups of Africa gradually afraid and just the way bad odour can spread easily, the scare spread to other African countries. As a result of that, nobody was willing to copy Sékou Touré’s action, whose catchphrase was “We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery.”

    The first President of the Republic of Togo, a tropical, sub-Saharan nation in West Africa which greatly depends on farming, named Sylvanus Olympio discovered a middle ground answer to the puzzle with the French elite because there were not many solutions available. He wants his country to get out of the French dominion list, and hence turned the signing of the Colonization Continuation Pact proposed by De Gaule. But alternatively opted to pay a yearly debt to France, and shockingly or funnily enough, the annual debt is for the benefits Togo got from French colonization. Isn’t that exploitative? Since that was just about the only better way to keep the wrath and anger of Europeans at bay particularly their massive destruction before moving out of the country, a country which solely depends on farming opted to enrich a nation that was and is still way richer than them from their seemingly tiny pockets of farming. This no doubt reflects the use of cork of a bottle in fetching water into the ocean in an attempt to get it filled up.


    [​IMG]

    More so, the amount that was approximated by France as the so-called colonial debt was so huge that it was almost 40% of the country’s budget in 1963. Meanwhile, the financial situation of the just independent Togo was something short of stable.

    For that reason, Olympio opted for a change in the money they were using, all in a bid to build a nation that will not depend on others for its growth. He then dumped the French colonial money FCFA (the Franc for French African Colonies) and launched the country’s own currency which got him dead barely three days after he began the printing of country’s own currency. His death was caused by a small group of ignorant and uneducated soldiers supported by France whose only aspiration was to waste the life of Olympio; the first elected president of the newly independent Togo.

    [​IMG]

    In the same vein, Keita Modiba who was the first president of the Republic of Mali also on June 30th, 1962 decided to pull out from the French Colonial Currency FCFA that was forced on 12 the newly independent African countries as at then.

    The Malian President knew that if he allowed his country to continue being a French colony, it will not only be a liability or load but also an inevitable trap for Mali. Sadly, there was another striking coup on November 19, 1968, which destabilized his plans and sent him to prison in the northern Malian town of Kidal. The coup was backed by another member of Foreign French legion whose name is Lieutenant Moussa Traoré. Keita Modiba who devoted all his life for African unity was thrown into prison and the most annoying aspect of everything is that after he was transferred back to the capital Bamako in February 1977 in what was asserted to be Government action towards national reconciliation in preparation for him to be set free, Modibo Keïta died, still a prisoner, on May 16, 1977.


    Olympio, who is today known as the first President to be assassinated during a military coup in Africa and his wife were asleep when many members of the military broke into their house, waking them from their sleep. Before dawn, Olympio’s body was found by the U.S. Ambassador Leon B. Poullada three feet from the door to the U.S. Embassy. This sent shocking and frightening messages to other African leaders who became even more shocked and afraid of being caught in the same kind of predicament.

    According to reports, he was killed on January 13, 1963, by an ex-member of French Foreign Legion army, a sergeant referred to as Etienne Gnassingbe who claimed to have personally fired the shot that took the life of Olympio while Olympio tried to escape and he supposedly had received a reward of $612 from the local French embassy for the killing job. The ideas of Olympio which was enough to make his nation independent, a self-sufficient and self-reliant country cost him his life. After all, he isn’t supposed to build an independent nation when French hasn’t granted them the go-ahead order to do so.


    To substantiate the facts mentioned above, throughout the past 50 years, 67 coups took place in 26 countries in Africa and 16 of those countries in Africa were colonized by France. This, therefore, shows that nearly 61% of the Coups that took place happened in the French-speaking countries of Africa. Don’t you think France is surely desperate by the way it strives tirelessly to maintain a strong contact with her colonies no matter what it would cost? Of course, you are right to say yes.

    [​IMG]

    The ex-French President Jacques Chirac in March 2008 stated that without Africa, France will smoothly go down in the rank of a third (world) power. Also, the former President of France François Mitterand who left the seat for Chirac also said that if there was nothing like Africa, France would not have had any history in the 21st century.

    Did you know that 14 countries in Africa are by colonial pact required to pay nearly 85% of their foreign reserve to the France central bank under the of control French Finance minister even as we speak? It is really disturbing that Togo and other 13 countries are required to pay a colonial debt to France. For the stubborn African leaders who declined this offer, they were either killed or overthrown through a coup, but the docile ones were backed and recompensed with extravagant lifestyles while their subjects embraced abject poverty and distress.

    Read: African Empires That Have Been So Easily Forgotten

    My anger gets even worse knowing they are not ready to condemn or cancel the act as these countries have already paid in 2014. It seems our leaders are really afraid of being killed and therefore need a powerful nation to support them. In case you are wondering why most leaders send their revenue abroad, it is because they are oppressed by colonial countries. Is that so hard to believe?

    Check Out the content of the ‘Almighty’ Colonization Continuation Pact:

    • Colonial Debt for the benefit of France colonization:
    The newly “independent” countries should pay for the infrastructure built by France in the country during colonization.

    • Automatic confiscation of National reserves:
    This simply means that France holds the National reserve of fourteen African countries which are; Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Hence, they pay their national monetary reserves into the central bank of France.

    • The right of first refusal on any raw or natural resource discovered in the country:
    • Priority to French interests and companies in public procurement and public bidding:
    • The exclusive right to supply Military equipment and Train the country’s Military officers:
    • Right for France to pre-deploy troops and intervene in the country to defend its interests:
    • The obligation to make French the official language of the country and the language for education:
    • The obligation to use France colonial money FCFA:
    • The obligation to send France annual balance and reserve report:
    • Renunciation to enter into military alliance with any other country unless authorized by France
    • Obligation to ally with France in situation of war or global crisis
    [​IMG]

    Isn’t that looting and a very obvious exploitation? To me, looking at the content of the said document signed by our leaders you could say that some African countries are still slaves to French colonials. But the truth remains that we are the only ones who can really help ourselves. We may wait as we might, and help will never come our way. Unless we stand up for Africa, we might pay this debt forever.


    Source
    https://answersafrica.com/about


    Here is another one from Al Jazeera written by a white man for your satisfaction...

    Torpedoing Africa, and then complaining about 'migration'
    European countries are still shaping the lives of millions of Africans, determining both their present and future.

    [​IMG]by Lorenzo Kamel
    18 Aug 2018 GMT+3
    Out of the 67 coups in 26 African countries in the last 50 years, 61 percent took place in former French colonies. Fifty percent of the monetary reserves of 14 African countries are still today under full French control: none of them has any control over its macroeconomic and monetary policy. France makes billions of euros from Africa annually under the form of "reserves", and lend part of the same money to its owners on market rates.


    These few numbers hide one major truth: many European countries, France first and foremost, are still today shaping the lives of millions of Africans - three quarters of whom live on less than two dollars a day - determining both their present and future. They take the best out of Africa, while largely ignoring, or complaining about, much of the rest (noteworthy: Muslims represent about eight percent of the total French population and yet, between 40 percent and 70 percent of the population of France's prisons are estimated to be Muslims, mainly originate from African countries).

    How are the European Union (EU) and many European citizens responding to this reality? They tend to focus on the "final rings of the chain" (including NGOs, "hotspots", or how to "divert irregular migration"), meaning that they focus on "the migration crisis plaguing Europe" without addressing some of the main structural conditions behind these phenomena.

    Post-colonial "possessions"
    A number of agreements signed in recent years by the EU in different parts of Africa have been largely detrimental for local populations, not least because they have exposed weak economies to unfair competition, adopted "divide and conquer" tactics when negotiating with African countries, and reduced trade between African nations.

    On top of this, these agreements are often signed by countries that are still heavily dependent on external powers. A case in point is represented by the accord - the covers goods and development cooperation - reached by the EU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on February 24, 2014.

    Almost all countries that are part of both ECOWAS and UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union) - including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, and Senegal - are still today de facto "post-colonial possessions".

    The Central Bank of each of these African countries is in fact compelled to maintain at least 50 percent (it was 65 percent until 2005) of its foreign exchange reserves in an "operations account" controlled by the French Treasury. Moreover, each Central Bank is required to maintain a foreign exchange cover of at least of 20 percent of its liabilities.

    It should also be mentioned that still today - despite the efforts made by ECOWAS to create a new common currency (ECO) for West African states - the CFA Francs, which are in reality two different currencies both guaranteed by the French Treasury, are the official currencies in 14 West and Central African countries.

    CFA Francs, contrary to the dollar or euro, cannot be converted into any other currency. This means that all these countries are excluded from the international foreign exchange market (FOREX), the largest and most liquid market for options of any kind in the world.

    It could be claimed that the countries that operate with these currencies might freely leave the arrangement at any time. In truth, dozens of African leaders, from Silvanus Olympio in Togo to Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, have tried in recent decades to replace these tools of monetary and financial control with a new common African currency. Almost all of them - with the possible exception of Malian President Modibo Keïta (1915-77) - have been killed or overthrown the very moment in which their attempts were close to succeeding.

    Tackling structural interests
    For many centuries, Europe contributed to intercontinental migration more than any other continent. On the other hand, migrants from other continents rarely chose Europe as a destination.

    Much is changed during the 20th century, and yet, still in 1990, migrants from West Africa, where many of the current migratory waves directed to Europe stem from, represented only the 0.005 percent of the annual population growth in Europe, which at the time was 0.184 percent.

    The upsurge of net migration from Africa from the late 1990s, and more specifically the upswing of migratory traffic across Sahara from West to North Africa, is the result of an unprecedented "perfect storm", meaning the (never so) well organised exploitation of Africa - mainly at the hands of single European countries and companies, with the connivance of corrupted local leaderships - the increasing destabilisation of the entire region (to which European weapons are also contributing much), and the epochal challenges posed by the combination of climate change and demographic growth (according to the United Nations, more than half of global population growth between 2015 and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa).

    Instead of tackling these epochal challenges and acknowledging that 87 percent of world refugees are hosted in low and middle-income countries, a number of European politicians and millions of average citizens have chosen the "easiest path": they are invoking a Europe-wide alliance against "mass immigration", or, more precisely, quoting Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, "a League of the Leagues of Europe, bringing together all the free and sovereign movements that want to defend their people and their borders".

    "Europe", in truth, is not defending itself, but "attacking". It is doing so in a more sophisticated way than in the past, while receiving only limited "side effects". In this sense, concerns about "migrations" cannot but generate a positive outcome for European countries and citizens: in the medium-long term, they will be compelled to reconsider their attitudes and policies. And this process starts with broadening awareness on these issues.

    Indeed, complaining about "migrants" - not dissimilarly from focusing on NGOs, or on the "financial" cost of the "migration crisis" for European countries - is a self-assuring shortcut that speaks at the gut of millions of disillusioned European citizens. Challenging and tackling the structural interests of (mainly) European businessmen, companies and governments - like Africans are doing through initiatives like the "West Africa leaks" - would be much riskier: this is why it won't easily happen.

    Fostering local agency
    The "West Africa leaks" investigation, published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) last May 22, has confirmed that real change will ultimately come from African citizens themselves. The end of the exploitation of their countries passes, in fact, primarily through their structured and organised efforts.

    Through the analysis of 27.5 million leaked documents, the "West Africa leaks" shed further light on how government officials, arms merchants and corporations have syphoned off millions of dollars from some of the poorest West African states through offshore tax havens. The latter is, to a large extent, linked to European and American companies and businessmen.

    The result of the investigation, the largest-ever collaboration of journalists from West Africa, is particularly meaningful if considering that the region (West Africa) accounts for more than one-third of the about $50bn that leave Africa each year illegally.

    There is still much to inquire about the role played in these processes by some of Africa's most powerful politicians and business leaders, although the OPL 245 case in Nigeria, from where one in every five Africans is from, might be considered as a poster child for understanding how the system works, and how it should be tackled.


    The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial stance.
     
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  13. Reddington

    Reddington FULL MEMBER

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    How France maintains its grip on Africa


    [​IMG]

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy greets his Malian counterpart Amadou Toumani Toure prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris

    By Stephen Smith
    BBC Focus on Africa Magazine
    [​IMG]
    This year, 50 years on from the independence of most former French colonies in Africa, relations between France and its erstwhile possessions south of the Sahara remain murkier and more confused than ever. Never mind.

    In the summer, Paris plans to host a so-called "renovation summit" to revamp Franco-African relations. But many critics, both in France and in Africa, say the gathering will be more a sign of business-as-usual rather than something that will encourage reform.

    Paradoxically, protests against Francafrique (the Franco-African shadow state which perpetuated French influence south of the Sahara after 1960) have been far more vocal in the wake of the massive French disengagement from the region after the end of the Cold War than during the three decades - les trente glorieuses - of French neo-colonialism from 1960-1989.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] France has been reluctant to play the role of the gendarme of Africa
    [​IMG]
    The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of East-West geopolitical rivalry encouraged public debate about France's role in Africa.

    Just how many first- and second-generation immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are living in France today remains an open question, as French law prohibits statistics based on racial criteria. However, it is estimated that up to 5% of the country's 65 million inhabitants originate from the region.

    Many have acquired French citizenship and form, together with long-standing French nationals from the Antilles, what the national media refers to as "Black France".

    But since racially tainted riots erupted in major French cities at the end of 2005, many French people of African descent - perhaps alienated from the powers-that-be in Paris - consciously define themselves as "hyphenated" citizens: Franco-Africans with divided national loyalties.

    Renewed, balanced and transparent

    On the eve of this year's Bastille Day, the heads of state of former French interests in Africa are due to gather around President Nicolas Sarkozy "to highlight and to bear out the evolution of Franco-African relations which are to remain privileged while being renewed, balanced and transparent".

    Using less convoluted language than the official communique, the president explained in December that the purpose was "to turn the page of the debate on [French] colonisation and post-colonisation".

    Exhibitions, round-table discussions, publications and academic conferences have been scheduled throughout this year.



    [​IMG]
    2005 saw racially focused riots erupt across much of France
    The high point of the festivities is to be the 14 July parade on the Champs Elysees where French and African troops will march in lock-step saluting President Sarkozy and his guests of honour.

    The military show is meant to be a reminder of Franco-African fraternity of arms, notably against Nazi occupation in World War II.

    The African heads of state will also attend the traditional garden party at the Elysee Palace following the Bastille Day parade. The event's theme is "Diversity - the human reality which links the colonial past to present-day immigrant France," according to the Elysee communique, but this in particular is causing a few ructions.

    The person appointed by Mr Sarkozy to run this year's events is Jacques Toubon whose previous political career is quite telling.

    Not only is he a die-hard Gaullist - an ideology named after former President Charles de Gaulle who insisted on maintaining as much control as possible over France's African interests - but he is also a former minister of culture and, since 2005, has been at the helm of a new museum dedicated to the history of immigration in France.

    The museum occupies a pavilion erected for the Colonial Exhibition in 1931, which marked the acme of French imperialism.

    As a result, criticism has been voiced against the mixed messages being sent by the government on the subject.

    Renegotiation

    On the one hand there seems to be a direct line drawn between la plus grande France - the "Greater France" of colonial times - and immigration.

    But, on the other hand, since Mr Sarkozy's election in spring 2007, the French government has intensified efforts to conclude bilateral treaties with states south of the Sahara aiming at a "joint management" of migratory movements.

    Yet while small and relatively privileged countries like Gabon have signed such agreements, more important reservoirs of sub-Saharan immigration, namely Mali, have so far refused to "co-police" migration.

    Mr Sarkozy's government has been more successful in renegotiating the defence treaties which were signed with all former colonies in 1960 (except for Sekou Toure's Guinea which cut the umbilical cord with Paris in 1958, achieving independence two years earlier than all the other former French colonies).

    The revised treaties clarify mutual obligations and, in particular, no longer contain "secret clauses" for French military intervention in case of internal conflict.

    Making discretionary use of its right to intervene, France has staged over 40 military operations to save, or sometimes topple, African regimes since 1960, mostly during the Cold War.

    But since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and especially after the debacle in Rwanda in 1994, France has been reluctant to play the role of the gendarme of Africa.



    [​IMG]
    FOCUS ON AFRICA
    [​IMG]
    This article was originally published in Focus on Africa magazine . To read more and subscribe, visit their website.
    As a result, the number of French military advisers on the continent has been slashed from 925 in 1990 to 264 in 2008; in the same period the budget for military assistance was halved.

    There are still about 10,000 French soldiers deployed south of the Sahara, down from 15,000 in 1989. But half of them are serving on temporary missions, often under UN mandates.

    Also, in the past 20 years, Paris has closed three out of six permanent bases on the continent.

    France's foreign direct investment in Africa has also plummeted since the Berlin Wall crumbled. While the African share stood at just over 30% in 1989, it has been consistently below 5% since the turn of the century.

    Furthermore, the bulk of France's overseas capital investment has been shrewdly diversified beyond former colonial boundaries in favour of non-francophone countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Kenya and South Africa.

    Shady middlemen

    Yet, despite France's disengagement from its former colonies, political mores between Paris and the francophone capitals of the continent remained characterised by back-door arrangements and shady middlemen.



    [​IMG]
    Nicolas Sarkozy had committed to combating disengagement
    As a presidential candidate, Mr Sarkozy committed himself to cleaning up les reseau: the informal Franco-African networks. "We must rid Franco-African relations of the networks of a bygone age," he declared in a speech in Benin in 2006.

    But since he took office, President Sarkozy has perpetuated France's time-honoured tradition of parallel diplomacy in Africa.

    One set of advisers presides in public over the official business with Africa, while high-ranking Elysee staff, in tandem with unofficial middlemen, is in charge of the lucrative and highly personalised politics that Mr Sarkozy denounced during his presidential campaign.

    The French media regularly expose the broken promises and the new lease on life given to Francafrique.

    The elite collusion of Francafrique has become an anachronism, at odds with the stark realities of shrinking French engagement - both government and private - with its former territories south of the Sahara.

    For example, Mauritania's General Mohammed Ould Abdelaziz continued to visit the Elysee Palace after the coup that brought him to power, despite being denounced in capitals across Europe.

    Hence, if they care at all, most French belittle the 2010 "renovation summit" as a political gimmick, actually not all that different from the so-called "independence of the flag" granted to the African colonies in 1960.



    Stephen Smith is a visiting professor at Duke University in the United States. His new book - Le Nouveau Monde Franco-Africain - was released in April.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8639874.stm

    France still maintains its influence in its former African colonies but slowly and surely it's grip is slipping away.
    China with its influence and economic clout is decreasing french influence in its former African colonies.
     
  14. Vergennes

    Vergennes PROFESSIONAL

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    So can you bring me a credible source about France "taxing its former colonies" ? Credible sources,official documents those kind of things. What a nobody writes on the internet doesn't qualify as "credible".
     
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  15. Pakhtoon yum

    Pakhtoon yum SENIOR MEMBER

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    Just like how the Africans allowed them to kidnap them and sell them into slavery. France should be helping get their industry up not have their boots there. Disgusting country

    I know brother, the French are disgusting people
     
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