President Macron visited in Angola, new “pivot” of France in Africa

Relations, essentially economic, that Paris wants to develop with the Lusophone former colony are supposed to illustrate a renovated approach with the continent.

by Christophe Châtelot

Emmanuel Macron is expected, Friday, March 3, in Luanda, the capital of Angola on Friday, March 3, which, with Nigeria, is competing for the place of first producer of oil in sub -Saharan Africa. However, we swear at the Elysée, it is not the immense offshore deposits, which for years have made the richness of totalnergies, which animate the French ambitions towards this country. On the contrary, it is said. Oil activity, the parallel diplomacies of the majors would belong to the past, to the over -time of Françafrique.

The relations that France intends to develop with this former Lusophone colony, independent since 1975, would illustrate, on the contrary, the new French approach to the continent. Like those outlined with other “regional pivotal countries” such as Ethiopia, Nigeria or Kenya. States that respond to the French ambition to diversify its partnerships located outside its historical pre-square, where Paris continues political and diplomatic reverse.

In Angola, the French head of state will not be in the “very uncomfortable situation [of] accounting of the past”. Coming the day before Gabon, he will be in Luanda where “the centrality of the military question and the pre -eminence of the security”, in his words about the former French colonies, have never defined the framework of relations between the two countries. A security, regional and sensitive file will however be well on the table during his meeting with his counterpart, Joao Lourenço.

It is that concerning the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), theater for more than a year of murderous violence opposing the Congolese army, helped by some of the local militias swarming in this region (More than a hundred groups listed), to the rebellious movement of the March 23 movement (M23), supported and armed, at least in part, by neighboring Rwanda, according to UN expert reports.

“The current passes”

Angola has been leading bilateral mediation for several months between the DRC and Rwanda. This so -called Luanda process has not managed to date to contain the advance of the M23 or to force Kigali to hold the rebels. The Elysée is worried: “The degradation of the situation is the bearer of a new gravity, linked to the significant risk of a regional conflict.” Many actors are indeed involved in this conflict, the umpteenth for thirty years in this region. In addition to the presence, denied by Kigali, of Rwandan soldiers on Congolese soil, the east of the DRC is indeed hosting contingents of Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and soon South Sudan, supposed to intervene between belligerents without we know by what means.

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/Media reports cited above.