Macron refuses to apologize for French colonialism in Africa

AA / Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday refused to apologize for his country’s colonial past in Africa.

Macron was speaking during his participation on the last day of the Afro-France summit held in the coastal city of Montpellier (southeast), where he debated a variety of issues, including democracy, with a group of 11 youth from the black continent. their country.

The youth selected to debate with Macron denounced France’s patriarchal and colonialist attitude.

The French head of state declared that “an apology will not solve the problem, although recognition will allow us to reach the truth”, called for a rewriting of common history in light of his stated position.

This year’s Afro-France summit was held without the participation of African heads of state, with the exception of the French president himself.

According to the French regional daily “Midi Libre”, Macron chose the new format of the summit to “prioritize youth from African countries and those who have the ability to transform and listen to the Black Continent and France”.

Macron’s statements come in a very specific context, marked by the strong tension between Paris and Algiers, after the newspaper “Le Monde” reported the words of the tenant of the Elysee in which he disputed the existence of an Algerian nation before French colonization. did. country in 1830

“Was there an Algerian nation before the French colonization?”, asked the French head of state in this regard.

Algiers condemned Macron’s statements against him, considering them “an unacceptable attack on the memory of the more than 5 million resistance fighters killed by colonial France”.

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The Algerian authorities reacted with approval by restricting overflight of their airspace by French military aviation engaged in particular Barkhane, a decision taken in the wake of Algiers recalling its ambassador to Paris “for consultation”.

* Translated from Arabic by Majdi Ismail

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