France’s Double Standard on Democracy in Africa

France’s Double Standard on Democracy in Africa
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, attends the state funeral for the late Chadian President Idriss Deby, with Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, in N’Djamena, Chad, April 23, 2021 (pool photo by Christophe Petit Tesson via AP).

It all started in late April with an open letter written by a group of 20 retired French generals and published in a right-wing weekly news magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, known for its inflammatory provocations. Describing France as teetering on the edge of civil war, the letter called on France’s civilian leadership to take action so the military wouldn’t have to. With its reference to the threats posed by “Islamism and the hordes from the banlieues”—France’s peri-urban ghettos—and a form of anti-racism that “despises our country, its traditions, its culture,” the letter was more foghorn than dog whistle when it comes […]

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