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Huckleberry Finn
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« on: November 08, 2004, 05:51:56 pm »
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France has its own Iraq.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3991241.stm
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2004, 11:27:54 pm »
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Maybe now I can protest France....

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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2004, 04:35:10 pm »
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I am reminded of Churchill's famous statement that he made when he learned that Hitler has invaded the Soviet Union.

He was quoted as saying something to the effect that "if Hitler invaded hell, I should have a good word to say about the devil before the house (of commons)."

Don't know a lot about the opposition in the Ivory Coast, but if they are opposing the French, there's got to be something good to say about them.
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2004, 04:40:55 pm »
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COTE D IVOIRE: France denies trying to topple President, diplomatic efforts continue


[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


©  IRIN

At least 2,050 foreign residents were sheltering in French and UN military bases in Abidjan on Monday, many having been plucked by helicopter from their homes
 
ABIDJAN, 8 Nov 2004 (IRIN) - France sought on Monday to reassure thousands of angry Ivorian demonstrators that it was not trying to topple President Laurent Gbagbo, after a weekend of mob violence forced more than 2,000 foreigners to flee their homes.

As French troops tried to restore calm to the streets of the West African nation, French diplomats scurried to push a resolution through the UN Security Council that would impose penalties on Cote d'Ivoire, while South African President Thabo Mbeki prepared to fly into Abidjan to kick-start the battered peace process.

Ivorian youths began setting fire to French schools and businesses, looting homes and threatening foreigners on Saturday after the French army destroyed almost the entire Ivorian air force in retaliation for the killing of nine of its peacekeepers in an aerial bombardment in the northern town of Bouake.

At least 2,050 foreign residents were sheltering in French and UN military bases in Abidjan on Monday, many having been plucked by helicopter from their homes as they came under attack from angry mobs, some armed with sticks, stones and machetes.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said well over 400 people had been treated on Sunday, some for wounds from live ammunition and it appealed to be allowed to continue its activities unharmed.

Gbagbo made his first television appearance late Sunday, appealing to protesters to head home and not let themselves be provoked, but on Monday around 5,000 demonstrators lined up opposite French tanks stationed outside the Hotel Ivoire in the upmarket suburb of Cocody.

Screaming anti-French slogans and carrying banners branding the French assassins, the protesters rallied at the hotel following a morning appeal on state radio to form a human shield to protect Gbagbo, whose residence is nearby.

A diplomat at the hotel said French troops had fired shots in the air to disperse the protesters. Ivorian state television broadcast images of injured people getting to hospital. Over the weekend, it also showed the bodies of protesters who, it said, had been killed by French forces.

However it was unclear how many casualties there were.

"The situation is worrying, it could explode at any moment," another Western diplomat told IRIN. "Any negotiations about Ivorian politics is impossible at the moment. It's about lowering the tensions and calming the crisis."

Joint patrols

Inside the hotel, French, UN and military officials met the Ivorian army's chief of staff Mathias Doue, and government representatives and agreed to organise joint patrols to help restore calm to the city, which was once the economic toast of West Africa.

In a televised press conference, all were keen to dismiss rumours inflaming passions in Abidjan that Paris was aiming to depose Gbagbo from power.

"He represents a legal government, elected by the people. Our only goal is to ensure the safety of the French and expatriate community and also that of all Abidjan residents; we are here to stop Abidjan falling into the hands of looters," General Henri Poncet of the French forces said.

Mamadou Koulibaly, the speaker of parliament and one of the most hardline members of Gbagbo's party, spoke in a similar vein on Monday despite having called people onto the streets just a day earlier.

"The French troops do not intend to stage a coup d'etat nor destabilise Cote d'Ivoire," he said. "The craziest rumours are those which make republics fall the fastest," he warned, urging people to calm down and get on with their normal lives.

Speaking in northern France, President Jacques Chirac added his voice to the chorus trying to reassure the Ivorian population.

"France is the friend of Cote d'Ivoire. We want the country to find the path to national reconciliation," he said.

But not all Gbagbo supporters were convinced, chief among them Charles Ble Goude, the leader of the Young Patriots militant group, who has proved to be a mobilising force in the past.

"I have no confidence in the French army. They should return to their barracks, leave the bridges and give us back our airport," he told French radio.

Diplomatic channels

Meanwhile in New York, French diplomats called for penalties, including an arms embargo to be imposed on France’s former colony, which has been split into a rebel-held north and a government-controlled south since September 2002.

The Ivorian army violated an 18-month ceasefire last Thursday by bombing rebel strongholds, with the attacks continuing on Friday before the French troops, 4,000 of whom patrol the ceasefire zone alongside 6,000 UN peacekeepers, fell victim on Saturday.

"The Security Council... decides that all states shall, for an initial period of 12 months... take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Cote d'Ivoire... of arms or any other material, in particular military aircraft," a draft of the resolution obtained by IRIN read.

The draft resolution, which French diplomats at the UN hoped would pass on Monday, also provides for travel bans and the freezing of funds for individuals who block the implementation of a 2003 French-brokered peace deal, known as the Linas-Marcoussis agreement.

Before last week's government military offensive Cote d'Ivoire had been locked in political deadlock for months. The government was supposed to pass a series of political reforms, including a controversial amendment to the constitution to widen the pool of those eligible to become president and the rebels were supposed to start disarming in mid-October. But each side dug in their heels, each blaming the other for the failure of the peace plan.

It is this impasse, now further complicated by the popular violence and high tempers in Cote d'Ivoire, that South African President Thabo Mbeki must try to bridge.

"He will be there tomorrow," presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo told IRIN by phone on Monday. "He should be there for one day only and his first port of call is President Gbagbo."

Mbeki, who has brokered peace deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, was given his mandate by the African Union.

Some diplomats said letting African leaders try to mediate the path to peace might be a good move and prevent charges of former colonial powers interfering.

But others pointed out that the recommendations from a meeting of African leaders in July in Accra, Ghana, had been ignored and many cast doubt on just what political headway could be made with the situation still volatile on the ground.

"We have two crises on our hands now. One between the government and the rebels and another between the government and France," a senior West African diplomat told IRIN. "I doubt that Mbeki will manage to achieve anything. I doubt even that he'll end up coming."
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2004, 05:04:24 pm »
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I find it slightly ironic that France starts all this trouble in light of the Iraq and election climate.

Just for the record. The trouble started some years ago when a civil war broke out between the Northern parts and the Southern parts after the death of president-since-independence Houphouėt-Boigny in 1993 and a coup in 1999. Two years ago the country became de facto devided after Pres. Gbagbo tried to oust his opponest from Abidjan and troups from ECOWAS and France moved in under a UN-mandate to stop the violence.

Gbagbo and the government caused the shaky ceasefire to collapse when the army attacted the rebels last week. It is quite clear that Gbagbo don't want to negosiate and is probebly trying to force the French troups to depart, using the anti-french feelings some parts of the population has.
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2004, 05:15:47 pm »
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I find it slightly ironic that France starts all this trouble in light of the Iraq and election climate.

Just for the record. The trouble started some years ago when a civil war broke out between the Northern parts and the Southern parts after the death of president-since-independence Houphouėt-Boigny in 1993 and a coup in 1999. Two years ago the country became de facto devided after Pres. Gbagbo tried to oust his opponest from Abidjan and troups from ECOWAS and France moved in under a UN-mandate to stop the violence.

Gbagbo and the government caused the shaky ceasefire to collapse when the army attacted the rebels last week. It is quite clear that Gbagbo don't want to negotiate and is probebly trying to force the French troups to depart, using the anti-french feelings some parts of the population has.

Again, just for the record, Iraqi problems have been ongoing since the early 90's, does that deface what's happening there now?  The Ivory Coast situation has just gotten blurbs in the media, even with increased violence.

Sure, I just don't like the claim that this is the French Iraq. This is a ongoing conflict between several fractions in the country and France nor ECOWAS is siding with any of the fractions. The government pretented to negotiate and then launched an attack on the rebels. The only reason why there is any focus at the conflict at this point is because "White" people are in danger. The violence has been ongoing since 1999, but only among the Africans so the media in Europe and the US didn't care
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2004, 05:26:14 pm »
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Sure, I just don't like the claim that this is the French Iraq. This is a ongoing conflict between several fractions in the country and France nor ECOWAS is siding with any of the fractions. The government pretented to negotiate and then launched an attack on the rebels. The only reason why there is any focus at the conflict at this point is because "White" people are in danger. The violence has been ongoing since 1999, but only among the Africans so the media in Europe and the US didn't care

I don't believe I ever stated this was France's Iraq.
Nope, that was Huck. But you did mention Iraq...
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2004, 05:36:42 pm »
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I didn't seriously claimed that this is France's Iraq, but there is some similarities. Both USA and France act because two reasons: Their national interests and idealism.

Mr Chirac acts because he wants protect French interest and increases French international influence and prestige.  Ironically it was only reason why he was against war on Iraq.  Two-faced bastard.
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2004, 05:38:47 pm »
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Sure, I just don't like the claim that this is the French Iraq. This is a ongoing conflict between several fractions in the country and France nor ECOWAS is siding with any of the fractions. The government pretented to negotiate and then launched an attack on the rebels. The only reason why there is any focus at the conflict at this point is because "White" people are in danger. The violence has been ongoing since 1999, but only among the Africans so the media in Europe and the US didn't care

I don't believe I ever stated this was France's Iraq.
Nope, that was Huck. But you did mention Iraq...

I mentioned Iraq because it is a fact that without Iraq, the Ivory Coast situtation would be getting a lot more coverage than it is now.
Probably not. between 1997 and 2002 a major war was fought between, DR Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia on the one side and Rwanda and Unganda + Congolese rebelgroups on the other side. More that 3 million people was killed but it was barely mentioned in Western medias.
The Cote D'Ivoire situation is only interesting because Europeans are in danger at this monent.

As we are speaking (or writing Wink ) conflicts are going on in DR Congo around Goma, in Sudan near Nasir in the South (not Darfur, this is the good old SPLM/A conflict) and an attemped coup was avoided in Ghana.
All of these conflicts recieved little or not attention from western medias, probably because it's just Africans getting into trouble.
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2004, 05:42:47 pm »
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I didn't seriously claimed that this is France's Iraq, but there is some similarities. Both USA and France act because two reasons: Their national interests and idealism.

Mr Chirac acts because he wants protect French interest and increases French international influence and prestige.  Ironically it was only reason why he was against war on Iraq.  Two-faced bastard.
I disagree (not completely, though). The mission in Cote D'Ivoire is a UN-mission and only a peacekeeping mission, not even a peacecreating mission. But when it comes to keeping the peace in the former colonies in Africa, France has never been shy, hence the not comepletely Wink
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2004, 05:48:05 pm »
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Paris will be speaking African before this is over no doubt.
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2004, 05:55:15 pm »
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I didn't seriously claimed that this is France's Iraq, but there is some similarities. Both USA and France act because two reasons: Their national interests and idealism.

Mr Chirac acts because he wants protect French interest and increases French international influence and prestige.  Ironically it was only reason why he was against war on Iraq.  Two-faced bastard.
I disagree (not completely, though). The mission in Cote D'Ivoire is a UN-mission and only a peacekeeping mission, not even a peacecreating mission. But when it comes to keeping the peace in the former colonies in Africa, France has never been shy, hence the not comepletely Wink
The biggest reason why France has troops in Ivory Coast is thousands of French citizens living in there. Nothing bad about this. France should protect its own people. But Chirac's Iraq politics is about their own international prestige and influence. I become sick when I hear people praising France for their Iraq politics. But it only proves that Chirac has reached his goal.
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2004, 06:36:23 pm »
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I didn't seriously claimed that this is France's Iraq, but there is some similarities. Both USA and France act because two reasons: Their national interests and idealism.

Mr Chirac acts because he wants protect French interest and increases French international influence and prestige.  Ironically it was only reason why he was against war on Iraq.  Two-faced bastard.
I disagree (not completely, though). The mission in Cote D'Ivoire is a UN-mission and only a peacekeeping mission, not even a peacecreating mission. But when it comes to keeping the peace in the former colonies in Africa, France has never been shy, hence the not comepletely Wink
The biggest reason why France has troops in Ivory Coast is thousands of French citizens living in there. Nothing bad about this. France should protect its own people. But Chirac's Iraq politics is about their own international prestige and influence. I become sick when I hear people praising France for their Iraq politics. But it only proves that Chirac has reached his goal.
I agree. But I think that the anti-french bashing has gone too far. Countries makes choises and other nations might disagree, but calling the French chickens, traitors and allied with Iran and North Korea is too mush

(PS I do not like Chirac - never liked the Gaullists eventhough I have a weak spot for de Gaulle himself)
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2004, 10:21:40 pm »
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France has every right to do this.  Good for them.  It does make them look hypocritical for opposing Iraq though, so I hope they keep quiet about it from now on.
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2004, 10:55:31 pm »
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Note that the ex-British colonies are much more democratic and less screwed up.

The French colonial policy was horrible and is responsible for many of the problems in the world today.
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2004, 11:17:38 pm »
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Note that the ex-British colonies are much more democratic and less screwed up.

Iraq?
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2004, 12:39:41 am »
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Note that the ex-British colonies are much more democratic and less screwed up.

Iraq?

To be fair, the British put in a puppet state rather than actually colonizing it.

Compare actual colonies in the Middle-East:
Kuwait - British
Syria - French
UAE - British

Sure, India and Pakistan have their problems, but they are centuries ahead of French Indochina.  There are isolated incidents of former French colonies doing average, but the former British colonies are light years ahead overall (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, etc.)
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2004, 12:53:18 am »
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India really isn't that bad off.  Like most/all established democracies, it hasn't had a famine since it became one.   Some of the corruption, the increasing Hindu nationalism, and the conflict over Kashmir are all worrying, but the country is still making enormous progress.

Fine, fine.  I'll find some evidence:

This is from Fareed Zakaria.  He's out and about, a writer for Newsweek..appeared on the Daily Show recently, and so on.  Smart fellow:

Quote
An even more striking proof that a constitutional liberal past can produce a liberal democratic present was identified by the late political scientist Myron Weiner in 1983.  He pointed out that, as of then, "every single co u ntry in the Third World that emerged from colonial rule since the Second World War with a population of at least one million (and almost all of the smaller colonies as well) with a continuous democratic experience is a former British colony.

....
Having grown up in a postcolonial country I do not need to be reminded of the institutionalized racism and the abuse of power that was part of the imperial legacy.  But it is an undeniable fact that the British Empire left behind a legacy of a law and capitalism that has helped strengthen the forces of liberal democracy in many of its former colonies - though not all.  France, by contrast, encouraged little constitutionalism or free markets in its occupied lands, but it did enfranchise some of its colonial populations in northern Africa.  Early democratization efforts in all of those cases led to tyranny.
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2004, 01:03:55 am »
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OK, I'm not disputing that the Brits were better than the French, I was just pointing out two colonies that were...well not in a good position.  Smiley  I guess I did it just to annoy you...I dunno.  Wink

I also don't dispute that the Brits screwed some places up, heh.  My original point was just expressing my annoyance with the French for screwing up most of Africa, Indochina, Haiti, etc. in the first place.

I'm not a fan of French-bashing in current political discourse, but history is fair game.
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2004, 02:08:25 am »
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The greatest example of a british colonial sucess is right here. Smiley Good old USA. Except the British has terrible policies towards the Irish and Scots.
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2004, 04:36:17 am »
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Former French colonies:

Africa:
Marocco (1912-1954)
Algeria (1830-1962)
Tunesia (1880-1956)
Mauritania (1904-1960)
Mali (1880-1960)
Niger (1900-1960)
Chad (1900-1960)
Senegal (1638(1758), 1779(1809) 1816-1960)
Guinea (1849-1958)
Cote D'Ivoire (1843-1960)
Burkina Faso (1890-1960)
Togo (1920-1960)
Benin (1671-1960)
Central African Republic (1887-1960)
Cameroun (1920-1960)
Gabon (1839-1960)
Congo (Brazzaville) (1880-1960)
Madagascar (1886-1960)
Djibouti (1862-1977)

Rest of the world:

Vietnam (1862, 1883-1954)
Laos (1893-1954)
Cambodia (1863-1654)
Haiti (1697-1804)
Canada (1603-1763)
Louisiana (1682-1763, 1800-1803)
Syria (1920-1944)
Lebanon (1920-1944)

In terms of democracy, only Canada, Senegal and Louisiana has a long term history, but Senegal is along with Botswana the countries with the longest democratic governments in Africa. In terms of stability countries like Cote D'Ivoire, Benin, Gabon, Cameroun, Niger and Madagascar had been doing pretty well.
Unlike the British the French colonies where establised during a relativly short periode of time. France lost most of her colonies in North America and India after the Pressian 7-years war and during the Napoleonic wars. The colonial empire of 1939 was aquired from 1830 (Algir) to 1920 (Syria) and cannot be described as the most valuable parts of the world (most of the African possesions where dessert or jungle). Unlike the British France kept a serious commitment (with US blessings) in most of her former African colonies. The most important effort was the CFA-franc, a currency attached to the Franc (and today to the Euro) and used by most former colonies south of the Sahara.
Those former colonies that kept the strong coorporation with France (including visits from La Legion Etrangere if there was trouble) has enjoyed a fairly stable ride since independence, with fewer coups, fewer civil wars and no communist or socialist regimes (countries like Mali, Guinea and Congo-Brazzaville detached themselves from French influence before becomming "socialist")

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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2004, 08:34:54 am »
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The french colonies ... I think there's problems nearly everywhere. But the worse is Belgian ones : Congo (it was Zaire something about four years ago), Rwanda and Brundi (remember 1994) ...

Now please don't forget UN have already troops there.

But french presidents, well no, gaullist ones, do things like if France has still its colonies, here's the result ...
Note that the ex-British colonies are much more democratic and less screwed up.

Yes, bust most of them have oil ... There's nearly nothing in Centrafrica (is it the name in english btw ?), Niger, etc. Except Iraq, there's also problems in Sudan isnt'it ?
In terms of democracy, only Canada, Senegal and Louisiana has a long term history, but Senegal is along with Botswana the countries with the longest democratic governments in Africa. In terms of stability countries like Cote D'Ivoire, Benin, Gabon, Cameroun, Niger and Madagascar had been doing pretty well.
Unlike the British the French colonies where establised during a relativly short periode of time. France lost most of her colonies in North America and India after the Pressian 7-years war and during the Napoleonic wars. The colonial empire of 1939 was aquired from 1830 (Algir) to 1920 (Syria) and cannot be described as the most valuable parts of the world (most of the African possesions where dessert or jungle). Unlike the British France kept a serious commitment (with US blessings) in most of her former African colonies. The most important effort was the CFA-franc, a currency attached to the Franc (and today to the Euro) and used by most former colonies south of the Sahara.
Those former colonies that kept the strong coorporation with France (including visits from La Legion Etrangere if there was trouble) has enjoyed a fairly stable ride since independence, with fewer coups, fewer civil wars and no communist or socialist regimes (countries like Mali, Guinea and Congo-Brazzaville detached themselves from French influence before becomming "socialist")

Madagascar isn't that good : I rememebr there were hundreds of murdrs just two or three years ago. About the CFA-Franc now ... It's ... well... pityful ... If you're a tourist in one of those countries, you'd better pay in euro, nearly nobody would accept CFA-Franc.

About the countries which detached themselves from France, ther's also Chad, Mauritania and Niger.

Btw excuse me for my poor level of english Wink
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2004, 08:50:32 am »
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Paris will be speaking African before this is over no doubt.

So the French are going to be inventing a new language? Wink

(I get what you're saying though)
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2004, 11:13:03 am »
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The french colonies ... I think there's problems nearly everywhere. But the worse is Belgian ones : Congo (it was Zaire something about four years ago), Rwanda and Brundi (remember 1994) ...

The problems with the former Belgian and Portugese colonies are largely due to the fact that not only did the colonial powers make no provision for decolonization, they didn't even envisage local autonomy as the British and French generally did to one degree or another.  The locals had no recent practical experience in self-givernance at any level and it caused problems.  Africa has been ill-served also by the general insistence that the illogical colonial borders remain the international borders in the region.  Africa would be a better place today if the Katangan and Biafran secessions had succeeded.  The history of Africa in the '60's and 70's would be bloodier than it was, but as a whole Africa would be more stable and represenstative today than it is.
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2004, 05:01:48 pm »
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The Dutch also screwed up their fair share of colonies as well. Look at what they brought North America. Slavery.
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