The North Africa Post | Global food crisis is one of Russia’s “weapons of war“, said French President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to Cameroon on Tuesday (26 July), dismissing suggestions Western sanctions were to blame. It’s Macron’s first foreign trip since his re-election as he seeks to reset France’s post-colonial relationship with the continent.
The French leader specifically denounced the “hypocrisy” expressed “notably on the African continent” for not clearly recognizing Russia’s “unilateral aggression” towards Ukraine, as the European Union does. Macron pledged to support Cameroon, the first leg of his three-nation tour of western Africa, as the country is grappling with sharp increases in prices for oil, fertilizers and foodstuffs. His tour of Africa is also meant to help boost agricultural production on the continent amid the growing food insecurity linked to the war in Ukraine. The French president also declared his country would support Africa’s need for security at a time when France’s military is undergoing a revamp in the jihadist-torn Sahel. Northern Cameroon has also seen attacks by Boko Haram jihadists.
Speaking in the capital Yaounde, Macron also said the archives on French colonial rule in Cameroon would be opened “in full” and asked historians to shed light on the period’s “painful moments”. French colonial authorities brutally repressed armed Cameroonian nationalists before the country’s independence in 1960 and Macron said he wanted historians from both sides to work together on investigating the past and establish “responsibilities”.
Macron has made concerted efforts to turn the page on painful episodes in France’s past. The French leader is due to travel to Benin on Wednesday before ending his trip in Guinea-Bissau.