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France’s Macron takes Africa push to Brazzaville

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday carried his African tour aimed toward renewing frayed ties to the Republic of Congo after inking an financial accord with Angola.

Macron landed within the Congolese capital Brazzaville simply earlier than 5 pm (1600 GMT), on the third leg of his voyage after visiting Angola and Gabon.

He met with President Denis Sassou-Nguesso in Brazzaville earlier than travelling to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which lies on the other financial institution of the Congo river.

At an look earlier than journalists, Sassou-Nguesso listed websites Macron may go to on an extended journey sooner or later, more likely to be seen as a barb on the quick size of the French head of state’s keep.

Within the Angolan capital Luanda, Macron held talks along with his counterpart Joao Lourenco, calling the oil-rich nation a “strategic accomplice within the area”.

Macron, who chaired an financial discussion board attended by greater than 50 French corporations, mentioned the “coronary heart of this go to is the strengthening of agricultural partnerships” with Angola.

France was searching for to “construct a balanced and reciprocal partnership” with Angola.

“This matches in with the thought I’ve of this financial partnership between the African continent and France,” Macron mentioned.

“Mindsets have modified,” he mentioned.

France has for many years been concerned within the petroleum business within the Portuguese-speaking southern African nation, which is without doubt one of the continent’s prime crude producers.

Macron’s go to supplied a chance to discover cooperation in different sectors.

The 2 governments penned an settlement to spice up Angola’s agricultural sector, notably “local weather resilience and water safety”, along with serving to revamp espresso, soya, cotton and dairy manufacturing, amongst different sectors.

The aim ought to be to develop a “made-in-Africa technique”, he mentioned.

– De-escalation –

Earlier than leaving Luanda, the French president thanked Lourenco for his work to revive stability to the area, highlighting his diplomatic efforts in conflict-torn jap DRC.

He added that there are “reliable hopes” for a de-escalation within the turbulent area.

M23 rebels have captured swathes of territory in jap DRC since re-emerging from dormancy in late 2021, and have practically encircled the commerce hub of Goma.

The insurgency has cratered relations between the DRC and its smaller neighbour Rwanda, which Kinshasa accuses of supporting the M23.

Unbiased UN specialists, the US and different western international locations — together with France — agree with Kinshasa’s evaluation, however Rwanda denies the cost.

A number of officers, who requested anonymity, informed AFP that an M23 delegation was current in Luanda, however didn’t meet French officers.

– Anti-French sentiment –

Anti-French sentiment runs excessive in some former African colonies because the continent turns into a renewed diplomatic battleground, with Russian and Chinese language affect rising.

On Thursday Macron mentioned the period of French interference in Africa had ended and there was no need to return to the previous.

“The age of Francafrique is nicely over,” Macron mentioned in Gabon’s capital Libreville, referring to the post-colonisation technique of supporting authoritarian leaders to defend French pursuits.

Macron had met Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera in Gabon on Thursday.

The talks got here after relations had deteriorated as Russian affect elevated in Bangui and French troops left the troubled nation final yr.

The identical day, rights teams in Congo-Brazzaville pleaded for the discharge of former presidential candidates Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko and Andre Okombi Salissa and requested Macron to relay their considerations to the Congolese president.

The pair had been every jailed for 20 years in 2016 for endangering state safety after they ran in opposition to Sassou-Nguesso in disputed presidential elections that had been adopted by violence.

Congo-Brazzaville’s president has dominated with an iron first for nearly 4 many years.

Macron was to go on later Friday to neighbouring DRC, which was dominated by Belgium in the course of the colonial period.

However there have been reservations in regards to the go to.

Dozens of younger Congolese demonstrators holding Russian flags rallied outdoors the French embassy in Kinshasa on Wednesday to denounce Macron’s go to.

On Thursday, 20 residents’ actions wrote in an announcement that Macron “will not be welcome to the DR Congo”.

In a separate assertion, some 150 NGOs demanded that Macron backs “requires sanctions” in opposition to Rwanda, and “helps the DRC organise its self-defence”.