The Central African Republic is one of the African countries that has turned away from France and switched sides to Russia as the competition for influence intensified ever since the Russia-Ukraine war began. In 2022, the last French troops deployed in the Central African Republic left the country after relationships between the two countries deteriorated due to the growing proximity between the Central African Republic and Russia.
Touadéra shuns the West
The anti-West sentiments in the African continent have cost France and other Western powers dearly. With the failure of Western military interventions in the continent to tackle the insurgency issue and the rise of the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, France’s departure from the Sahel region was humiliating.
With their credibility hitting rock bottom in Africa, Western powers such as France and Germany have launched a new “Africa strategy”. It is well known how these powers have been accused of furthering their neo-colonial agenda under the guise of military assistance. Recently, French President Macron even announced that the era of interfering in Africa’s internal affairs has ended in an attempt to pacify the hostility. However, despite France’s best efforts, it appears that Africa is not impressed. France’s new “African strategy” has hardly made any difference in countries like DRC, Gabon, or the Central African Republic.
Although France is shifting its focus towards economic engagements, to Macron’s great dismay, African nations are making it clear that they no longer want France or the West to meddle in their affairs. Recently France’s Macron met with CAR President Faustin Archange Touadéra, hoping to improve their damaged relationship. However, the opposite happened. Days after meeting Macron, Touadéra accused Western nations of deliberately keeping his country politically unstable.
At a UN conference for the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Touadéra stated that the CAR has been subjected to “systematic looting” facilitated by political instability maintained by certain Western countries or their companies which finance armed terrorist groups whose main leaders are foreign mercenaries.
Furthermore, at the UN conference in Qatar, President Touadéra claimed that the Central African Republic was a “victim of geostrategic aims linked to its natural resources”, and that “foreign interference” kept his nation and others like it in a state of “dependence, insecurity and instability”.
Last year, the last French troops left CAR and the African country switched sides to Russia. Recently, France was also asked to withdraw its troops from Burkina Faso. Thus, it can be said that the way ahead for France is going to be extremely thorny. President Touadera’s statement has once again demonstrated the hostility that France continues to face in Africa, despite its best efforts to assuage them.