Macron: I Won’t let France Become ‘Ideal Scapegoat’ In Africa

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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that he will not allow France to become “the ideal scapegoat” in Africa, in a speech ahead of a trip to the continent from Wednesday.

Some African countries have criticized France for failing to curb Islamist militancy in the Sahel region in particular.

Macron is to visit Gabon for an environmental summit, followed by Angola, then the Republic of Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville, and finally the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Macron also said he refused to be drawn into an outdated competition between powers for control of Africa.

France still has thousands of troops in the region, including in Niger and Chad, but is seeking to redeploy some towards the Gulf of Guinea and tone down its presence on the ground.

He will travel to Gabon, Angola, République of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The French head of state, who was re-elected last year, is set to unveil on Monday “his priorities and his method to deepen the partnership between France, Europe and the African continent”, the presidential office has said.

France withdrew its forces from Mali last year after the junta there started working with Russian military contractors, ending a decade of operations against Islamist insurgents.

REUTERS

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