Loss by France of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is official end of Françafrique – Ex Austrian top diplomat
Former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has argued that Françafrique is over after France lost Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger where leaders have turned to Russia, China and Turkey.
Kneissl, who had been in office from 2017 to 2019, said African countries have more opportunities on the continent and can choose whom to cooperate with.
“France is gradually losing its foothold in African countries: they’ve been expelled from Mali, they’ve been expelled from Burkina Faso. Now Niger wants to close the French military bases in the country. For France, I think this is the official end of the Françafrique policy, since the new authorities can choose,” she declared.
Françafrique is France’s sphere of influence over former French and Belgian colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.
The influence however has been rapidly dwindling in recent years. Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, Burkina Faso and now Niger, all of them former French colonies, have severed ties with the European country and moved closer to Russia.
Kneissl’s remarks come amid an ongoing crisis in Niger where soldiers toppled west-backed President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. France after being flashed out from Mali and Burkina Faso set up camp in Niger.