The French African Connection: Episode 1 – France’s Thirst for Energy [VIDEO]

French _Connection

This series explores the dark and dramatic history of France’s relationships with its former African colonies. The first episode of this three-part series untangles the web of political connections between France and its former African colonies.

In January, France sent 4,000 troops to Mali in a bid to combat rebel fighters who, after seizing control of the country’s north, threatened to invade the capital city of Bamako.

Francois Hollande, the French president, justified the intervention by stressing his country’s commitment to its former West African colony. “France will remain with you as long as it is necessary,” he told a press conference.

For his part, Dioncounda Traore, the interim Malian president, expressed his gratitude, calling Hollande a “brother to the Malian people” and a “true friend of the whole of Africa”.

Countries that once depended on us still ask us for help today. But why should we help these countries if it isn’t worth it for us?

General de Gaulle,

French President [1959 – 1969]

But is France pursuing a neo-colonial policy in Africa? Is it continuing Francafrique , the term coined to describe the country’s relationship with its former African colonies, in which it supported unpopular African politicians in order to advance and protect its economic interests?

In a recent visit to Dakar, Hollande declared the end of the Francafrique era, but is it really over?

This three-part series tells the story of ‘France Afrique’: a brutal and nefarious tale of corruption, massacres, dictators supported and progressive leaders murdered, weapon-smuggling, cloak-and-dagger secret services, and spectacular military operations.

The first episode of this three-part series untangles the web of political connections between France and its former African colonies.

– AJ