Repentance et victimisation !

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Repentance et victimisation !

the essentials French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday July 26 asked historians to “shed light” on France’s action in Cameroon during colonization and after the independence of this country, announcing the “entire” opening of the French archives on “painful” and “tragic moments”.

“I wish that we can have and launch together a joint work of Cameroonian and French historians”, declared the President of the French Republic, during a joint press conference in Yaoundé with his Cameroonian counterpart Paul Biya. here the solemn commitment to open our archives in their entirety to this group of historians who will allow us to shed light on this past,” he said. “It is necessary to establish factually” “responsibilities”, added Emmanuel Macron.

A history marked by colonization

After the defeat of Germany in 1918, the League of Nations (SDN, ancestor of the UN) had entrusted most of the German colony of Kamerun to the tutelage of France and the rest – the western part bordering Nigeria – to Great Britain. Before the country’s independence in 1960, the French authorities bloodily repressed the “maquis” of the UPC (Union des populations du Cameroun), a nationalist party founded in the late 1940s and engaged in the armed struggle against the colonizer and his Cameroonian allies, particularly in Bamileke country. Several tens of thousands of pro-UPC activists, including the independence leader Ruben Um Nyobè, were massacred first by the French army, then after independence by the Cameroonian army of the Ahmadou Ahidjo regime. Monday, July 25, a group of Cameroonian political parties called on Emmanuel Macron to recognize the “crimes of colonial France”.

A first aborted step

During the last visit of a French president to Yaoundé, François Hollande conceded in 2015 that there had been “extremely tormented, even tragic episodes”. “We are open so that history books can be opened and archives too,” he added.The discourse on this period “feeds a form of mistrust and fantasies” which tarnishes the image of France, comments a French diplomat.With this announcement by Emmanuel Macron, “it is a question of being faithful to the method that we have set ourselves: not to enter a political sequence before the work of historians has been done, as we have made with Rwanda and the Duclert report”.The president’s entourage also made the connection with the process undertaken on colonization and the war in Algeria since 2017.

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