Preparations for Marine Le Pen’s trip to Senegal

It’s a half-baked gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless. French far-right politician Marine Le Pen installed Senegalese President Macky Sall in his presidential palace in Dakar on January 18. The culmination of her three-day visit went completely unnoticed: only one media outlet, View, was told France was preparing for the first day of protests against proposed pension reforms. The fallout was also subtle: Saar refused to show photos of the meeting or comment on the interview.

read more Senegal angry at Marine Le Pen’s visit: ‘Her conscience should prevent her from setting foot on African soil’

But for the head of the National Assembly (RN) bloc, who is still seeking international visibility for her fourth presidential campaign, the mere fact that she was able to meet face-to-face with the head of state is a testament to her status as a leading contender. acknowledgment. Le Pen also visited businesses, a hospital and French troops. Throughout, she delivered a message of breaking with “French Africa.” (A nickname for a form of colonialism that lingers after independence.) The agenda is similar to her 2017 trip to Chad. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the voyage to the “Land of Telanga,” at odds with her claims to support “African sovereignty” and an end to French interference.

In the middle: Philippe Bohn, ‘agent of influence’, emerges from the shadows

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Philipp Born wants us to know that he has 22 current heads of state on his phone contacts, most of them African. If Le Pen wins in 2027, he will be 23 years old, and he can foresee himself entering the Elysee Palace as “Mr. Africa”. To formulate her Africa policy, Le Pen has chosen a good African connoisseur. Born, who defines himself as a “libertarian patriot”, first supported the Republican Party (PR), the conservative movement of Alain Madeleine and Gérard Long. (The two friends don’t want to explain his shift to the far right because they took the opposite path 50 years ago.)

In his youth, the adventurer was an intermediary between African rebels, especially in Angola, and PR, when he worked for the French oil products company Elf Aquitaine. His network of friendships with heads of state — notably South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame — has led him to boost African ties for utility company Vivendi Environnement and Airbus. He sympathized with Gaddafi’s son in Libya and Saar in Senegal, who entrusted him with restarting the ailing national carrier Air Senegal. In France, he ran his police network – Bernard Squarcini, Ange Mancini and Jean-Louis Fiamenghi – as well as the military network inherited from his then Institute for Advanced Defense Studies.

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