French president Emmanuel Macron on Saturday said ‘colonialism was a grave mistake,’ and called for ‘turning the page’ on the past during a visit to Ivory Coast, a former French colony in West Africa.
Macron, speaking in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan, said France was often viewed as having a ‘hegemonistic view and the trappings of colonialism that was a grave mistake and a fault of the Republic.’
‘I belong to a generation which was not’ part of the colonial-era, he said.
‘The African continent is a young continent,’ he said.
‘Three-fourths of your country never knew colonialism,’ he said, addressing Ivorians and called on African youths to ‘build a new partnership of friendship with France.’
During his election campaign for presidency Macron had created a storm by calling France’s colonisation of Algeria a ‘crime against humanity’.
In a 2017 TV interview, he said French actions in Algeria, which achieved independence in 1962 after eight years of war, were ‘genuinely barbaric, and constitute a part of our past that we have to confront by apologising’.
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