French President Says France Will No Longer Interfere In African Domestic Affairs
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed today that Paris has no intention of returning to its previous policy of intervention in Africa.
He arrived in Libreville on Wednesday, at the start of a tour of four African countries aimed at restoring ties with the continent.
“I prefer to be very clear and explicit in meeting you today,” he said in remarks to the French community, “In Gabon, as elsewhere, France is a neutral interlocutor, which speaks to everyone, and whose role is not to interfere in domestic political issues.”
Macron’s visit to four Central African countries comes as France faces a wave of hostility between its former Sahel colonies that has forced it to withdraw its forces.
Ahead of his visit, he said there would be a “noticeable reduction” in the presence of French forces in Africa “over the coming months” and an increased focus on training and equipping Allied forces.
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“I have decided on a new strategy for all of our military bases in Africa. I have asked the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Chief of Staff to work with their colleagues to adjust our military arrangements,” he said.
Macron insisted the reorganization was “neither withdrawal nor disengagement, but rather an adjustment of an agreement” with allies.
Before leaving Gabon, he will attend a conference on rainforest conservation, an initiative he and Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba unveiled at last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference.
He is still going to Angola on Thursday, before heading to the Republic of the Congo and the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo on Friday.