Macron Arrives in Rwanda to Turn ‘New Page’ in Relations


“A common history is now emerging,” Mr. Duclert stated. “There must be equality. Europe can no longer explain to Africa what it needs to know. It’s up to Africa to explain to Europe what it’s doing.”

But the reconciliation can also be the results of extra prosaic calculations by Mr. Macron and Mr. Kagame, two leaders dealing with completely different sorts of pressures in Africa, the place individuals are clamoring for extra accountability, at the same time as new and resurgent powers, like China, Russia and Turkey, are more and more outmuscling previous powers like France.

For Mr. Macron, a political disrupter at residence who has sought to reset France’s relations with Africa, the reconciliation quantities to his most profitable try at discovering buddies and enterprise companions in new corners of the continent.

But though he stated he did not want France “to remain prisoner of our past” in an interview with the journal Jeune Afrique final November, he has usually discovered that’s precisely the case — embroiled, for instance, in an increasingly unpopular, seven-year war against Islamism in West Africa that has pressured him to look away from coups in allies, like Mali, and to work with longtime autocrats.

Last month, one in all France’s most essential allies in the struggle, Idriss Déby, who had dominated ruthlessly over Chad since 1990, was killed and replaced by his son Mahamat. In a tableau that recalled the dangerous previous days of what was often called “Françafrique,” Mr. Macron was the one Western chief to attend the funeral and sat in the entrance row, subsequent to the son, whereas different African leaders sat behind them.

“It’s a sepia image — Macron always tries to wipe away the past with a magic slate, but France’s history in Africa always catches up with him,” stated Antoine Glaser, an professional on France’s relations with Africa and co-author of “The African Trap of Macron.”

Abdi Latif Dahir reported from Nairobi, and Norimitsu Onishi from Paris.



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