French President Acknowledges French Genocide in Cameroon

Francois Hollande, President of France
Francois Hollande, President of France
French flag
French flag

It took over 70 years for a French President to finally admit the genocide perpetrated in Cameroon by France between 1950 and 1970, a genocide which claimed over 400,000 lives, and displaced countless others. In his visit to Cameroon last Friday, French president François Hollande acknowledged that French forces had tried to quash colonial separatists in the 1950s and said he was ready to open up the history books. He said, “I recognize that there have been extremely traumatic and even tragic episodes.” Should we jubilate?

Ruben Um Nyobé
Ruben Um Nyobé

I say NO. It is true that this is somewhat a step forward: recognition of wrong done. However, I call it arrogance to wake up one day, and finally say, “Oh, yes, I killed your fathers, mothers, brothers, or sisters, … I showered many of your cities with Napalm, … I decapitated so many of your freedom fighters and hung their heads in the villages’ square, … I killed Ruben Um Nyobé, Felix-Roland Moumié, Castor Osende Afana, Ernest Ouandié, and so many others, … I forced some of you into exile, … and I displaced countless others inside and outside your borders.” And so what? Should we clap for you? where is the apology? Didn’t you think we knew you did that? Where is the reparation?

Decapitated Heads during the genocide in Cameroon
Maquisards’ heads during the genocide in Cameroon

During the Maquis years, many lost a loved one; is there a reparation for that loved one? that father who never saw his children grow up? that mother who never saw her son again? What about those who kept waiting, and waiting, hoping that after so many years the loved ones would come back home?… What about the pain of that young girl walking to school who had to watch the decapitation of ‘maquisards’ on the public place: she was scarred for life! What about those entire villages burnt with napalm? And those who were displaced internally from French Cameroon to British Cameroon, running for their dear lives and leaving behind their lands? What about Ruben Um Nyobé and his family? Felix-Roland Moumié, and his widow who suffered years of imprisonment in the harshest places? and Ernest Ouandié… and all the children who had to watch in horror as he took his last breath under the firing squad’s shots? What about the remaining population whose history was erased from textbooks, those who now have a gap in their past?

UPC Leaders (L. to R.) front row: Castor Osende Afana, Abel Kingué, Ruben Um Nyobé, Felix Moumié, and Ernest Ouandié
UPC Leaders (L. to R.) front row: Castor Osende Afana, Abel Kingué, Ruben Um Nyobé, Felix Moumié, and Ernest Ouandié

And to stand up there, and say “yes I recognize that we killed you”… it’s like Hitler waking up today, and telling Holocaust survivors and their descendants, “I killed you, jailed your parents, forced you into exile, brought fear into your souls, and decimated every part of you… what can you do?” It is simply arrogant! It is just too easy. Until there is a clear “I am sorry”, until there is a clear “here is what we will do to correct the wrong”, until there is a clear “arrest of all perpetrators”, until there is a clear “story in the history textbooks, opening of all the classified documents”…. until there is a clear “respect for those killed,” until then, there will be no respect for arrogant presidents of the hexagon in our dictionaries!

In 2013, the British government apologized for the massacre of the Mau-Mau in Kenya. We are waiting for France’s apologies for the Cameroonian genocide, and while we are at it, we will also expect France’s apologies for the Algerian and Malagasy massacres too.

‘Un ennemi de l’Afrique est tombé’ – Bye Bye Sarko

Nicolas Sarkozy battu
Nicolas Sarkozy battu

Avec la défaite de Nicolas Sarkozy battu Dimanche par Francois Hollande, j’ai trouvé bon de vous faire lire cet éditorial de Théophile Kouamouo du Nouveau Courrier. Je n’aurais pas pu mieux le formuler. Retrouvez l’intégralité de l’article sur Le blog de Théophile Kouamouo.

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L’Histoire retiendra que Nicolas Sarkozy aura été, après Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, le second président en exercice en France à perdre le pouvoir après un seul mandat. Comme Giscard, il laisse le pouvoir à la gauche, après avoir échoué à réunir les droites. Comme Giscard, il n’incarnait pas vraiment le gaullisme historique français, mais représentait une droite ouvertement libérale et atlantiste (alignée sur les Etats-Unis). Giscard est tombé avec en bruit de fond «l’affaire des diamants» de Jean-Bédel Bokassa, dont il avait complaisamment orchestré le sacre avant de le renverser. Sarkozy s’en va alors que s’enchaînent les révélations sur les 50 millions d’euros que Muammar Kadhafi lui aurait promis, pour financer sa campagne victorieuse de 2007… On connait la suite de l’idylle !

Nicolas Sarkozy, by Zapiro (source Grigrinews.com)
Nicolas Sarkozy, by Zapiro (source Grigrinews.com)

Bon débarras ! Un ennemi de l’Afrique indépendante s’en est allé, un adversaire déclaré des Africains vivant en France, Subsahariens et Maghrébins, est tombé. Ni remords, ni regrets. La carrière politique de cet homme qui aura amené la droite républicaine vers une impasse idéologique fascisante est finie. Nicolas Sarkozy est avocat, ça tombe bien pour lui. Il risque fort désormais d’avoir beaucoup de travail avec toutes les procédures judiciaires qui visent déjà ses proches – et qui l’atteindront bientôt – et qui témoignent toutes du rapport problématique à l’argent de sa coterie de profiteurs.

Dire que Nicolas Sarkozy a été un bourreau de l’Afrique n’est ni mentir ni exagérer. Cet homme a brisé tous les tabous et a fait de la souveraineté de la Côte d’Ivoire et de la Libye de simples chiffons de papier. Violent, il a lancé des milices assassines à l’assaut de ces nations. L’insécurité, les actes de génocide dans l’Ouest, l’activisme meurtrier des miliciens dozos en Côte d’Ivoire en témoignent. Le chaos libyen, la prolifération d’armes lourdes, la poussée salafiste, le Mali livré à des hordes salafistes dont certaines ont part liée avec Al-Qaida… tel est l’héritage mortifère de l’ancien maire de Neuilly dans la bande sahélo-saharienne. Nicolas Sarkozy aura été le président français le plus détesté en Afrique depuis les indépendances. Et sur le continent, on fêtera plusieurs jours sa fabuleuse débâcle. […] Lire la suite ici