Thursday, February 27, 2020

Emmanuel Macron: the kiss of the young boy to the old man

This article is from a series in the journal Mutations entitled: Paris - Yaoundé, from Mitterand to Macron: zoom in on the reports of ups and downs between Paul Biya and the five French presidents of the 5th Republic whom he saw pass.

We thought we saw "a new beginning" emerging (to borrow from the French sociologist Edgar Morin) in the bonds of friendship between Paris and Yaoundé. Successive meetings between presidents Paul Biya and Emmanuel Macron have made some people say that relations between Cameroon and France are in good shape. Paul Biya himself was delighted after being officially received for the first time in Lyon on October 10, 2019, on the sidelines of the work of the 6th Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria. This satisfaction is all the more sustained in that the two presidents met again a month later during the second Paris Peace Forum.

Old, guardianship, and often even deemed "paternalistic", relations between Cameroon and France have started to cool down since Nicolas Sarkozy (2007). Under François Hollande (2012), they seemed “politically correct”. Then came Emmanuel Macron in 2017. Young, fiery, brilliant and innocent to a certain extent, the man whom the High Commissioner for Pensions in France, Jean-Paul Delevoye, calls "le jouvenceau" placed his quinquennium under the sign of a break from opaque practices, which have long been in force in what benevolent people annoyingly call "Françafrique". It is in this sense that he declared in November 2017 in Burkina Faso, that "there is no longer an African policy for France".

But between words and deeds, the latest release by Emmanuel Macron shows that the break is still only wishful thinking. Indeed, at the opening of the agricultural show on February 22 in France, he confessed, without way, to have put pressure on his Cameroonian counterpart for the release of the politician Maurice Kamto. Interrogated in the crowd by a Cameroonian activist nicknamed "Calibri Calibro", Emmanuel Macron also maintains that it was only on this condition that he had agreed to receive Paul Biya in Lyon. In a style that some describe as "narcissistic" or even "condescending", Emmanuel Macron confided, facing the cameras, that he is "totally involved so that the violence that is going on in Cameroon and which is completely intolerable cease ”.

Besides, he promised his interlocutor, "I will call President Biya next week and we will put the maximum pressure to end this situation". An exit which aroused strong reactions within the Cameroonian opinion.

Actu Cameroun