Macron says France to open archives on Cameroon colonial era

by | Jul 26, 2022 | World

Speaking in Cameroon, French president asks historians to investigate the past and establish ‘responsibilities’.France’s President Emmanuel Macron has said the archives on French colonial rule in Cameroon would be opened “in full” and asked historians to shed light on the period’s “painful moments”.
Macron, speaking in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde on Tuesday, said he wanted historians from both countries to work together on investigating the past and establish “responsibilities”.
French colonial authorities brutally repressed armed Cameroonian nationalists before the country’s independence in 1960.
Tens of thousands of supporters of the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) party, including independence leader Ruben Um Nyobe, were killed by the French army.
The Cameroonian army under the country’s first post-independence leader Ahmadou Ahidjo also killed UPC fighters.
Former President Francois Hollande in 2015 conceded that France’s colonial past in Cameroon brought “tragic” moments and said he was open to opening the archives.
A group of Cameroonian political parties on Monday called on Macron to recognise the “crimes” France committed during the colonial era.
Macron’s comments came on the first leg of a trip to three African countries where he hopes to reset France’s relations with the continent, where many nations are former French colonies.
The French leader is due to travel to Benin on Wednesday before ending his trip in Guinea-Bissau.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron leaves the presidential palace after his meeting with Cameroon’s president in Yaounde [Ludovic Marin/AFP]
The 44-year- …

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