France led by President Emmanuel Macron when vowed to fight Islamic Terrorism after the brutal attack on French citizens was praised by all the leaders of free countries except a few disgruntled, uncivilized, and uninformed people who call themselves leaders.
The French army killed as many as 50 Al-Qaeda linked terrorists in an airstrike operation in Mali earlier this month. The French-led anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane stretches 4,000km from the Atlantic coast across the territories of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad fighting Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in the semi-desert southern Sahara.
The recent accounts of massacres by the Ugandan Islamist terror group, Allied Democratic Forces killing 30 people en masse in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Islamist terrorists beheading 50 people in Mozambique. The Western African country of Mali which used to be a French colony has been at the forefront of a war against Islamic terrorists that had emerged in the north of the country in 2012. The terror soon has spread to the areas of neighbouring Burkina Faso and disturbed the entire region. The operation was launched by France which had ruled the Islamic-Majority region against the Islamic terrorists in 2013. The war has left hundreds dead and thousands displaced who often flee to France for survival.
France has been wary since in immigrant crisis began in Africa and the Arab countries. France faces an imminent security threat from the radicalization of the immigrants many of which were identified to be responsible for the recent attacks in France and elsewhere in Europe. France is home to millions of Africans from the North, West, and center of the continent and Paris remains the focal point for the francophone African elite. 46 per cent of the international students coming into France are from African nations.
According to a Jihadist scholar Hugo Micheron, about 2000 French nationals are considered to represent a direct Jihadi threat and another 20,000 are monitored by the French Intelligence as potential accomplices and a bigger group is influenced by the Salafi ideals that are threatening to break the society into many pieces. According to an estimate, about 28 per cent of the self-declared French Muslims are seen as secessionist and that makes Islam a means of self-assertion against the French society. This highlights the fact that at large the rise of radical Islamist elements in the former French colonies is also responsible for the domestic terrorism issues engulfing France at the moment.
The French Republic and its ideals of freedom and liberty are at the end of the barrel here. The blaming of the French government for perpetrating Islamophobia is a foolish assumption that is born on the premises of political ambitions of the leaders of Turkey and its junior partners Pakistan and Malaysia. France harbours the largest Muslim population in all of Europe. France sent the largest number of fighters to fight the war in Syria. Islamic terrorist attacks have hit Germany, the UK, Belgium, and others and France is at the forefront of the war leading Europe.
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France as a colonial power controlled huge land and populace in Africa which left a bitter memory in the eyes of the colonized people of the African nations. Yet the people went on with the use of the French language as lingua franca till the date.
French troops have been engaged in fighting with the Islamist terrorists in the Sahel and its officials are ‘handling’ the politics of several resource-rich former colonies such as the states of Guinea and Mali. President Macron has been personally engaged and often accused of “meddling too much” in the Ivory Coast.
President Macron intends to leave behind the baggage of colonial times, an example was returning works of art to Senegal and Benin from two of Paris museums. France is also making inroads in non-traditional French areas of interests such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia and has won several infrastructural contracts painfully pinching China on the way, which is on its neo-colonialist spree using Belt Road Initiative. The initiative, which is a masquerade for China’s ever-increasing appetite for other countries’ resources has forced many countries into the debt trap, which in China’s ways a form of diplomacy.
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France is challenging old rivals in the region like the UK and newer ones like Turkey and China, during the process it is trying to woo the young and fast-growing population of Africa. President Macron also repaired the strained relationship with Rwanda which had dropped the use of French and had adopted English alongside joining the British Commonwealth. France also announced the scrapping of West-African currency CFA franc which it comanaged and held half of the currency reserves in its Bank of France.
France, in the hope to boost its trade with Africa, has planned on increasing its aid to the continent to 20 billion Euros. The top five recipients of French Official development assistance Morocco, Jordan, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Egypt. The French President committed to building up relations in the fields of Education, academic cooperation, innovation, and economic partnerships, climate and sustainable cities initiatives, and cultural exchanges. The French government also allocated more resources for counterterrorism.
The French security and economic interests in Africa are a threat at the moment and Macron is up on his toes against the Islamic terror and the threatening rise of China.
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