View from Turkey: France kneels in Africa

11:18 22.06.2023 •

French soldiers arrested in Chad for trespassing

Africa, which for centuries was the colonial territory of Europe, rebelled against the hegemonic power. Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Central Africa either expelled France or the colonial power had to leave the Black Continent. Finally, Chad stopped and arrested French soldiers wandering the border without permission, writes Turkish ‘Yeni Safak’.

France, which had exploited Africa for decades and considered the main culprit of instability, became persona non grata on the continent. While many countries from Algeria to Burkina Faso have made the decision to erase France's presence in their countries.

Chad recently arrested French soldiers who roamed the border without permission. The footage circulating on social networks shows how Chadian soldiers put five French soldiers on the ground, took away their weapons and equipment. The treatment of France in Chad, expelled from African countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali, once again revealed that the influence of the colonial power on the continent is declining.

In the published video, a soldier from Chad, through an interpreter, asked the French soldiers: “Do you have a document on admission to the service?” He did not receive a response from the French soldiers, then the Chadian officer called his superiors on the phone to report the situation. During the meeting, attention was drawn to the use by a Chadian officer of the phrase "I arrested French soldiers who entered the base without permission and without a mandate, and took their weapons."

French Army spokesman Pierre Godillier stated that the incident took place on 8 June and said: "It was done very aggressively."

Some social media users noted that the appearance of French soldiers on the border of Chad and Sudan, where hostilities were taking place, was "suspicious". One user also stated that the soldiers' detention is a sign that the French army is experiencing a "loss of power" in Africa.

France was forced, at the request of local authorities, to withdraw its troops from Mali, which it deployed in 2013 during ‘Operation Barkhane’ to combat terrorists. France had 2,300 soldiers in Mali, but it was during their stay that Islamist terrorist attacks increased. It is generally accepted that France is responsible for the numerous military coups in Mali.

In December 2022, all parts of the French army located on the territory of the Central African Republic (CAR) were also forced to leave. 130 French soldiers served in the country.

In the Central African Republic, the title of "permanent veteran ambassador" awarded to French ambassadors was abolished. After that, the Paris administration suspended its military agreements with the CAR, and tensions between the two countries escalated.

French President Emmanuel Macron was also criticized by President Felix Tshisekedi during his March visit to the Congo. “France and Europe must change the way they cooperate,” Tshisekedi said. Respect us and look at us as real partners.” These words affected the French leader like a cold shower.

All 400 French soldiers stationed in Burkina Faso also forced to leave the country in February 2022. The military government that came to power in Burkina Faso on September 30, 2022 announced the termination of the military cooperation agreement with France and gave French soldiers a month to leave the country.

Paris, the main hegemon in Africa, lost its influence and became "persona non grata", stresses Turkish edition.


read more in our Telegram-channel