Posted on 25.01.2023 by PCF
While the French were demonstrating by the thousands across the country against the Borne government’s pension reform, Marine Le Pen was in Senegal.
From Monday 16 January to Thursday 19 January 2023, it crossed the north west of Teranga country1. This official visit took him to Richard Toll at an agro-industrial farm belonging to Franco-Senegalese billionaire and Swiss resident Jean-Claude Mimran; to Saint-Louis then to Dakar where he went to the headquarters of the French Elements of Senegal2 and in the largest University Hospital Center (QSU) in the country. The highlight of this trip was the audience he was given by the Senegalese president, Macky Sall, at the Palace of the Republic on Avenue Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar.
The hour-long one-on-one exchange is a first. Never before has a Senegalese president accepted a meeting with representatives of the French extreme right. So Macky Sall joins the late autocrat Idriss Deby who had accepted Marine. Le Pen in 2017 and Félix Houphouët-Boigny who had taken Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1987, to speak only of them. In the past, many attempts to implement this type of meeting in Senegal have failed miserably. Reporting on this meeting in an exclusive interview with the director of the private Senegalese press group Emedia (radio, television, daily newspaper and website), Mrs Le Pen said she had “convergence” with a “charming man” thanks to the connection their common to “sovereignty”.
Mr. Le Pen’s trip was prepared with the utmost discretion and was only announced by the French daily l’Opinion on January 16, the day he left France. In the article that talks about him, the stay in Senegal is described as a phase of his preparation for the “exercise of power”. In the same newspaper, in a forum, she described the objectives of her visit, the topics to be addressed and her thoughts on Franco-African relations. Mr. Le Pen’s diagnosis and proposals for the economic and social situation of the African continent and especially of Senegal are not very original. It denounces the primary introduction of Africa into international trade, the relations of dominance between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It recommends for the continent industrialization, more respect, a permanent member seat in the UN Security Council and to be occupied by Senegal.
Like her positions in France where she declares that she is against the current pension reform, she is against the wind against the actions of the workers and their unions who oppose her, she promises mountains and miracles in the conditions of African France while maintaining the instruments of imperialism current French. politics (military operations, CFA/ECO francs, Francophonie in the center…). It should also be remembered that Mrs Le Pen had proposed, among other abhorrent measures, the termination of Official Development Assistance to Mali in retaliation for the actions of the authorities there. This proposal was also received by Emmanuel Macron.
Macky Sall crossed the Rubicon waiting for Marine Le Pen. The xenophobic diatribes directed specifically against Muslims by the National Rally leader have undoubtedly made him unpopular with many Senegalese in the diaspora as well as at home.
The gesture of the Senegalese president is understandable only in the light of his political situation. After ten years in power, he has destroyed his credit and is struggling to stimulate popular mobilization around himself and his words. Despite this isolation, he seeks to impose, contrary to the spirit and letter of the Constitution, his candidacy for the presidential elections of 2024. To do this, he governs in repression. Journalists, associations and political activists are her favorite targets. There are dozens of them languishing in prison for reasons that are characteristic of authoritarian regimes. Taking the head of the national RN, the Senegalese president proves that he does not shrink from any humiliation in an attempt to offer himself a new ally internationally. Foreign friends are never numerous enough when it is necessary to silence populations in the international community. The Communists are taking this opportunity, moreover, to renew their support for the democratic and progressive forces fighting against the aforementioned abuses.
With this visit, Mr. Le Pen and the French extreme right are taking a new step. This is undoubtedly the result of gatherings from economic circles in France and Africa. Philippe Bohn, ex-Mr. Airbus Africa, former president of Air Senegal and convicted in 2021 by French justice in connection with a case related to the company Aigle Azur, is the concrete expression of this approach.
Although Emmanuel Macron and the networks close to him were deafeningly silent on this topic, it is certain that the French authorities were informed before this visit. In this case, as in other topics, it may be motivated by dirty political calculations that participate in continuing to make the extreme right “the best enemy”, taking over part of its program. It is extremely dangerous. It is the duty of communists and other leftist and democratic forces on our two continents to put an end to this fool’s game and raise the prospect of real social change by taking on economic, social and environmental challenges.
member of the African collective
and the International Relations Commission of the PCF
2. French armed forces base in Senegal.