While on a four-day trip to promote a relationship reset between his country and Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron lost his temper when discussing human trafficking. …
Touching on France’s colonial past, Macron told delegates at the University of Ouagadougou on Tuesday that “crimes of European colonization are indisputable.” On reports of slave auctions in Libya, Macron proposed a joint Euro-African initiative to eradicate people smuggling. However, a highly animated Macron left his audience of students in little doubt that the problem should be tackled by local authorities.
“In Libya, we’re engaged in diplomatic relations to find a political solution,” he said, raising his voice. Macron then implied that Africans should look closer to home for a solution, claiming that local people are the chief traffickers.
“Who are the traffickers? Ask yourselves – being the African youth – that question. You are unbelievable. Who are the traffickers? They are Africans, my friends. They are Africans. Ask yourselves the question.
“It’s not the French who are the traffickers, it’s the Africans. So everyone should understand the responsibility, and we’ve started to do that, to dismantle them. But stop the argument saying, ‘It’s someone else.’
“Show me a French, Belgian, German person, who carried out trafficking between Nigeria and Libya. This person doesn’t exist,” Macron added. “So, these days in Africa, there are Africans who make other Africans slaves, this is the reality. And there are Europeans who benefit from this misery in Europe, it’s unacceptable. In both cases, these are crimes. We are fighting both cases.”
The tense exchange is unlikely to have endeared the French president to some of his critics, since he appeared to stray from his original line that he is “from a generation where we do not come to tell Africa what to do.”
Macron is sometimes refreshingly non-PC, here holding up another obvious truth.
hat-tip Stephen Neil