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October 02, 2022

AFRICAN STORIES: FRENCH DIPLOMATIC OFFICES SET ON FIRE IN BURKINA FASO

Those of you who have been following my work here on The Duran Locals page will often recall me saying that there is a lot of anti-French feelings in francophone African countries. These widespread resentment in francophone Africa is specific to France and does not extend to other European countries or the United States.

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SIDE NOTE:

Most Anglophone Africans do not have such visceral feelings towards France nor towards the United Kingdom, which was the former colonial ruler. Like I have often stated, relations between UK and its ex-colonies both in Asia and Africa are generally amicable and have been consolidated through voluntary membership in the British-led Commonwealth of Nations.

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So why does France get so much heat in its ex-colonies? Well, the answer is that France never really left the countries they supposedly gave independence unlike the British. Every French leader from the colossal Charles de Gaulle to the uncharismatic Emmanuel Macron have maintained the policy of La Françafrique, which demands that France maintain a high level of control over its ex-colonies in the political, economic and military spheres. Comprador African ruling elites trained in French universities, worked in French civil service, participated in French politics or served in French armed forces were a key part of this neo-colonial control system.

In the late 1950s, the agitation for decolonization was still raging. Brits had come to terms with it and surrendered India, Pakistan, Burma and Ghana to independence. But the French were having none of it. French troops fought insurgents in Vietnam and Algeria to maintain their country's colonial empire.

After suffering a humiliating defeat in Vietnam, the French colossus, General Charles De Gaulle, came up with a brilliant idea that would offer nominal "flag independence" to the colonies in Africa while still keeping France in charge.

The General offered a referendum which gave each colony the option of either becoming an overseas province of France or joining Communauté Française, a supranational entity that transformed the colonies into quasi-independent client states of France.

Through intimidation or economic threats, many of these colonies would agree in the early 1960s to be given nominal independence provided they joined the French-run supranational entity, which then controlled the monetary and foreign policies of those supposedly independent ex-colonies.

That the ex-colony of Guinea managed to escape the La Francafrique system in 1958 is something of a miracle. In fact, it was the only ex-colony of France in the sub Saharan region to escape the system. Elsewhere, recalcitrant African politicians were eliminated by France.

In the run-up to the actual decolonization process in the late 1950s and early 1960s, African politicians who opposed the then nascent neocolonial La Françafrique system were eliminated by the French government. Marxist-leaning Cameroonian politician, Ruben Um Nyobé, was shot dead by French troops on 13 September 1958. Another radical Marxist Cameroonian politician, Félix-Roland Moumié, was finished off with thallium poison by SDECE (French secret service) on 3 November 1960.

The SDECE did not limit itself to Marxists. It also killed nationalist African politicians who would not go along with La Françafrique. For opposing French influence in Morocco, Mehdi Ben Barka, a Moroccan nationalist politician, disappeared forever on 29 October 1965. His fate remained unknown until a book, published in 2018, by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, gave a detailed account of what had happened to him. According to the book, Mossad had assisted SDECE in Barka's murder and the disposal of his body.

In 1982, French government abolished the SDECE and replaced it with DGSE, which is a relatively tame intelligence agency compared to its ruthless predecessor. Apparently, the DGSE did not inherit SEDCE's penchant for hiring Corsican gangsters to do some of its dirty work.

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SIDE NOTE:

The very word "La Françafrique" was coined by the first President of "post-independence" Ivory Coast, Mr. Félix Houphouët-Boigny who had been an African legislator within the French Parliament before he was promoted to the leadership of "decolonized" Ivory Coast. His contemporary, President Omar Bongo of the Republic of Gabon, explained that “Africa without France is like a car without a driver, while France without Africa is like a car without petrol.”

Apart from managing the colonial era feat of becoming a Flight Captain in 1950s French Airforce, Mr. Omar Bongo was unique among African comprador elites for not being fully under the control of France. In fact, he was able develop his own leveraging influence over French politicians through the use of Gabon's petroleum riches to secretly bankroll both leftwing and rightwing political parties in France. He kept powerful politicians such as Francois Mitterand, Valery Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Chirac under his patronage.

As part of its investigation into bribery and corruption among French politicians, the Financial Times of London exposed this secret patronage system run by Bongo using french businessmen as proxies. The newspaper described the system as "Europe’s biggest fraud scandal since the Second World War".

After Omar Bongo's death in 2009, Valery Giscard d’Estaing revealed that the deceased African ruler had bankrolled the 1981 presidential campaign of his rival, Jacques Chirac.

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Apart from having comprador ruling elites in place, nearly all francophone African countries have french military bases, several orders of magnitude bigger and busier than American military bases. It is within these military bases that the French draw up Byzantine political plots for the francophone country hosting them. This is in sharp contrast to the Americans who prefer to plot their own mischief inside secret CIA stations operating out of US embassies.

Until recently, the majority of these francophone countries had their foreign exchange reserves sequestered in the treasury of the French government. Those African countries were obilged to use the CFA Franc currency which was pegged to the French Franc (and later on, the Euro, after France dumped the Franc).

More importantly, France has this nasty habit of using French Foreign Legion or French paratroopers to overthrow governments they don't like in francophone Africa. The French don't mess around. They are not into the cloak-and-dagger use of intelligence services to forment military coups like the United States does on regular basis. The French openly send in their own military forces to commit the evil deed.

As recently as 2011, long columns of French armoured vehicles, accompanied by French infantry troops, overthrew the government of Ivory Coast led by former Maths Professor Laurent Gbagbo. Back in 1979, French paratroopers eliminated the government of Jean Bindel Bokassa of Central Africa Republic.

In recent years, citizens of francophone nations have engaged in anti-French street protests, many of them involving the waving of Russian flags; the flag-waving having more to do with pissing off Emmanuel Macron than it is to signal affection for Vladmir Putin.

Just recently, in the perennially unstable francophone nations of Mali and Burkina Faso, we have seen direct action taken against France. In Mali, the French military base was kicked out and Russian Wagner mercenaries brought in. In Central Africa Republic, French offers of help in fighting Islamists was ignored and same Russian Wagner mercenaries brought in to suppress the extremists.

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SIDE NOTE:

Like many francophone countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso is politically unstable due to poor local leadership, exacerbated by the suffocating influence of France. There has been two military coups there within the space of eleven months. The first coup occurred in January 2022 and was followed by another on Friday 30 September 2022.

The current military ruler Colonel Ibrahim Traoré has accused France of harbouring the previous military ruler, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, overthrown on Friday, in one of its military bases in the capital city of Ouagadougou. Upon hearing the word "France", some Burkinabe rioters descended on the Visa Offices of the French diplomatic mission to vent anger about their frustrated lives, which may yet end up on a dinghy boat headed for metropolitan France to the chagrin of ordinary French citizens and the indifference of French political elites. Funnily enough, these potential illegal migrants will never get to see the splendour of several beautiful mansions in France owned by their former African rulers. They would be too busy trying to survive in slums sprouting all over Versailles.

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For those of you interested hearing more about how Russia is profitting from these anti-colonial resentments in certain parts of Africa , please click on the links below to access old articles on this matter:

https://theduran.locals.com/post/2542748/africa-stories-benin-republic-humiliates-macron-for-those-who-have-been-reading-me-for-a-while

https://theduran.locals.com/post/2371502/african-stories-a-monument-to-russian-mercenaries-erected-in-central-africa-republic-citizens-o

https://theduran.locals.com/post/2560376/african-stories-mali-receives-military-aircraft-from-the-russian-federation-russia-handed-over-a

https://theduran.locals.com/post/2311949/zelensky-finally-gets-to-address-some-african-leaders-in-the-month-of-may-2022-canadas-globe

Below is a short video clip of Burkinabes venting their anger on a building owned by the French Embassy in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso.

00:01:16
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Locals Community Private Telegram Messaging

Locals will be sunsetting the private messaging feature throughout the Locals website. In order to keep our private messaging active we have created a private Telegram messaging group called 'The Duran Locals.'

This is a private channel open only to our Locals subscriber community. In the private Telegram group you can send a message to the group or a private message to Alex or Alexander via a direct Telegram message. 

You can access Telegram for web, desktop or mobile here: https://telegram.org/

The link for this Telegram group is below (can be viewed by community subscribers).

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