President Macron: ‘Between France and Africa, it must be a love story’,

It’s been just three years since Emmanuel Macron delivered his speech in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Arriving six months earlier at the Elysée Palace, the French head of state revealed, in front of a packed amphitheater, the outlines of the relationship he intended to weave with Africa.

He made a promise that had been repeated by all his predecessors since General de Gaulle: he was going to put an end to Françafrique, its troubled ties and obscure networks. […]

Is it necessary to negotiate peace with Iyad Ag Ghali and the jihadists in Mali, as called for by many people in the country?

It is necessary to be part of the clear roadmap that is the Algiers agreements. These provide for dialogue with different political and autonomist groups. But this does not mean dialogue with terrorist groups, who continue to kill civilians and soldiers, including our own. With terrorists, we do not discuss. We fight.

Of course, we know that the border between different groups is often porous. But to put it in a politically incorrect way: our military presence is not intended to combat all forms of trafficking in the region. That would be absurd.

Do you understand Presidents Issoufou and Déby when they say it’s normal for France to repair in the Sahel the pots it broke in Libya, which led to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011?

All those who intervened, including France, have a share of responsibility in the anomie that has reigned in Libya since 2011. The situation in Libya has had an obvious impact on its neighbours. Trafficking in arms, human beings and drugs has been reinforced throughout the Sahel, and terrorists have taken advantage of this to obtain supplies and better organise themselves. But the Sahelian question cannot be reduced to the Libyan question. Läs intervjun