African countries rising against French-backed governments
In 1977, when Djibouti gained its independence after 115 years of brutal French occupation, the era of European colonialism in Africa had almost come to an end. Only small enclaves occupied by Spain and Britain remained.
Like other colonisers, France had not left its former colonies before making sure that it could exploit their wealth and maintain a form of authority over them and thus access all kinds of natural resources which do not exist in Europe.
Under an unofficial policy referred to as “Francafrique” France has maintained ties with politicians and officials it put in power across its former colonies after the independence movements of the 1950s and 1960s. This policy also extended to include businessmen whom France enabled to create businesses and become commercial partners working for the benefit of their masters in Paris.
During its colonial era, like others, France enslaved its African subjects, killed millions of them and sold millions of others into the slave trade. France imposed its language and culture, and kept Africans illiterate and poor. Before ending its colonialism, it put in place a new form of control; economic and political colonialism.
Early this month, two African analysts told the BBC that “the historical record [of France] provides some support for these grievances. French colonial rule established political systems designed to extract valuable resources while using repressive strategies to retain control.” They also said that France “forged defence agreements that saw it regularly intervene militarily on behalf of unpopular pro-French leaders to keep them in power.”
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