France to review presence in Africa amid growing discontent

France to review presence in Africa amid growing discontent

France’s minister of Armed forces Sébastien Lecornu revealed Monday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, that the European country is going to review its presence in Africa, a traditional continent where it is facing a growing rejection.

Lecornu met with President Alassane Ouattara Monday upon demand by President Emmanuel Macron who has ordered a “review of France’s presence in Africa”.
For the French top official, the review takes into account two things: first “human resources and training” and secondly “capacity”. “We will be able to count on air force equipment and land-based equipment, on which we have discussed partnership issues. I have asked our defense industry, our general delegation for armaments, to make a tour de table. And perhaps in the weeks to come, we will send a group of French contractors, headed by the General Delegation for Armaments and led by the Public Investment Bank, to make proposals to the State of Côte d’Ivoire to enable us to have this equipment agenda,” Lecornu told the press upon meeting with the Ivorian leader.

“The army of Côte d’Ivoire has nothing to do with the army of ten years ago, and in view of political and budgetary decisions, the army will have nothing to do with it in ten years’ time either. This makes Côte d’Ivoire a country of stability, a country in which we can nurture and document a common security agenda. So the role of Côte d’Ivoire as a regional balancing power is becoming more and more established. This is obviously something very valuable. We will try to continue to feed this agenda with President Emmanuel Macron, who has asked us to reflect on the re-articulation of the French presence here in Africa,” he added.

France is facing an increasing resentment from African populations especially youth who condemned historical ties. The French presence in Mali, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso has taken a blow forcing Paris to pull out its troops from those former colonies.

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