French President Emmanuel Macron says one thing, but does something completely different. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are more and more doubts about his sincerity when it comes to the so-called "overseas territories of France", which their inhabitants continue to perceive as colonies, as they did before. These are predominantly African countries, although some are located in other parts of the world.
In March 2023, Macron headed for a four-day tour of Africa, where he announced the end of the "era of French Africa", adding that official Paris would act as a "neutral interlocutor" on the continent. But was it sincere?
Despite all the previous and current statements, tensions among the local population in the overseas territories of France continue to grow. Thus, representatives of a number of these overseas territories controlled by France also took part on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Baku. And they all unanimously said "no" to the colonial policy of France, which has been going on since the last century and which Paris does not think to end.
Most likely, these statements and the strong speech of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the opening of the ministerial summit about the brutal neo-colonial policy of France sparked anxiety in the French establishment.
French President Emmanuel Macron decided to visit his "possessions" - New Caledonia, Vanuatu and other islands on July 24-29 to try to neutralize the serious discontent that is growing in these territories. The media alleged that Macron is using the voyage to further his strategy in the Indo-Pacific region - "re-attaching" France to it. Why does France cling to them so strongly?
In the case of New Caledonia, the island has large reserves of natural resources. In addition to having one of the highest average per capita incomes in the region, New Caledonia is rich in resources, including up to 10% of the world's nickel reserves, according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission. Based on the political and administrative structure of New Caledonia, the power of France is quite widely represented in the country: the high commissioner appointed by the President of France himself is the head of the territorial entity. In this situation, it is clear that whoever dictates the rules in New Caledonia is in charge of its natural resources.
Besides, France "likes" to conduct nuclear "experiments" in its overseas territories, playing with the lives of thousands of residents of nearby islands. When conducting its nuclear tests in the Pacific between the 1960s and the 1990s, France most likely understood that the world was not going to turn a blind eye to the devastating consequences. For example, as a result of nuclear tests, more than 110,000 people in French Polynesia were affected by radioactive fallout. This French territory, made up of hundreds of islands and atolls, including Tahiti, has been the site of dozens of nuclear tests over 30 years.
All this once again suggests that Macron continues the colonial policy of his predecessors, showing his commitment to their imperialist ideas. Although the spirit of colonialism in the foreign policy vision of France was observed as early as the 16th century. Adopted in France in 1685, a document called the "Black Code" is a clear indication of France's cruel policy towards its colonies. The law was aimed at facilitating the transition of Africans from slavery to freedom through Catholicism, that is, coercion was applied to the adoption of an alien religion.
The nations that suffered mistreatment at the hands of the French authorities are increasingly turning to the world community to have their voices heard. Knowing the pain of the occupation and having survived the horrors of war and genocide, Azerbaijan created the Baku Initiative Group against the neo-colonial practice of France. This group will deal with keeping this issue on agenda of the UN and other influential international organizations, intensifying the struggle to achieve the complete liberation of these peoples, eradicating colonialism and forming a new approach in international relations.
This may force the French authorities to make sure that their words do not diverge from their deeds and direct their efforts to solve the problems of their overseas territories, and not support separatism in the South Caucasus region. In this case, both the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the reintegration of Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijani society will be calmer and faster. After all, there will be no "French patron" promising things that they cannot even fulfill.