Macron in Kigali: pointing the way forward?
During his visit to Rwanda this week, French President Emmanuel Macron has recognised his country's role in the 1994 genocide. France "stood beside a genocidal regime" but was "not an accomplice" to the crimes and the perpetrators, the president said. Historians had submitted a Rwanda report commissioned by Macron in March.
This will not be enough
Eleven years ago, then Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt asked the Rwandan people for forgiveness. France still has some way to go in this respect, Le Soir believes:
“The cold-blooded Macron did not dare to take such a step one year before the elections. He's not a healer, but a politician, and Kigali has no illusions about this. But let's bet that French civil society, to which the Rwandan president paid tribute, will continue to push for the truth. This is urgently needed. For Rwanda, which has rebuilt itself outside the French orbit, but also for relations between France and its former colonies in Africa. Since they gained independence and to this day, the countries of 'Françafrique' remain among the most disadvantaged on the continent - and are understanding ever more clearly why this is the case.”
An example for all Europe
Europe in general and Germany in particular should take Macron as an example, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
“It's clear that the president wants to increase French influence in Africa. But this is not illegitimate; indeed, it should serve as an example for all Europe. Quite frequently Africa's problems spill over into the EU (migration, terrorism). Yet too rarely do we experience the positive impact of Africa's potential (trade, investment). Despite all the pledges at Africa conferences, Germany's engagement in this huge continent on Europe's doorstep is low compared to that in America or Asia. Macron is right: this should change.”