France is withdrawing from Mali. The Military Junta may not last. But France’s capacity to impose its will on its former colonies seems to be over.
After nine years of fighting Islamist rebels in Mali, 53 soldiers killed, and over ten billion euros sunk in the quick-sands of the Sahara, France says it is pulling out of the country. The decision comes as 40 member states of the African Union are meeting with the EU in Brussels.
Debate rages over the role “Africans” played on the French team in the World Cup and on African sportsmen in general and their effect on integration while many in Africa are calling the French win, an African victory.
Bravo Croatia! Your country of just over four million people took on powerhouse France, pop. 65 million, as well as the best Francophone Africa, nearly half the continent, has to offer. This sort of statement sparks anger from the “ethnic French” among anti-racists. Yet, it is the general feeling I find among Africans too.
By S.G. Kazolias. They are Black. They are African. They are serious practicing Muslims. They are French citizens. And they vote for extreme right wing anti-immigrant candidates. The “natives” of the French Indian Ocean “Department” of Mayotte launched a general strike February 22, barricading roads, occupying public facilities and shutting down the island. Basically, they want more generous French subsidies to Mayotte, more police, more infrastructure development and an end to lawlessness which they blame on massive illegal immigration.
The Maore demand the French President, or the Prime Minister, come to talk to them or they will take law into their own hands and, yes, get violent.
By S.G. Kazolias. A young, mixed-race French girl from the city of Orléans is being burned at the stake because a local association chose her to represent Joan of Arc at this year’s Fête de Jeanne d’Arc. The 17-year-old Mathilde Edey Gamassou, whose father is from the African country of Benin, was selected out of 250 candidates for the celebration of the 1429 victory that freed Orléans from the English and the ethnic French, anti-immigrant movement hit the ceiling.
The United Nations denies it tried to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by French troops in the Central African Republic. The world body calls the allegations “highly offensive.” I can testify from my own personal experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo that the UN does hide the abuse of its blue helmets and others.
Sometimes ‘little’ people can make history too. When Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia last December he started a blaze that created the Arab Spring. The same may happen with Roland Désiré Aba’a who is on hunger strike against “the French occupation” of his country.
Were the Wades ready to call in European troops to back their bid for a new ‘monoarchy’? According to influential French lawyer and longtime Wade family confident Robert Bourgi, the president’s son asked him, on June 27, to get the French Army to intervene in the country.
Mauvaise foi: that is what the French call a bare-faced lie you tell to a person you know is aware you are lying but you pretend everything is up front and normal. This year, in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, the French have demonstrated they are the masters at mauvaise foi.
The Israelis say Syria paid protesters to go to the Golan Sunday to protest the ongoing Israeli occupation of the heights as if this justifies using live fire against unarmed demonstrators in which as many as 25 people were killed and 350 wounded. That the accusation rather than the killings gets the lede is insane.
No sooner had Allasane Ouattara announced reconciliation and promised a government of unity in which all the country’s forces will be represented than he reneged on that promise by keeping New Forces rebel Leader Guillaume Soro as Prime Minister and Defense Minister. Is this because Soro has the backing of the rebel army and therefore has the guns to call the shots?