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Jan 18 2019

Demeaning the image of France

Clash of Paris and Moscow in the press CAR 

The French Ambassador to the Central African Republic sharply criticized publications in some media outlets, accusing them of spreading “rumors aimed at demeaning the image of France”. 
It is assumed. that the conflict develops between publications that have clearly chosen their position in the conflict between Russia and France. 

The confrontation between France and Russia in Central Africa is also reflected in the local press. Several Central African media have clearly sided with Moscow against Paris in the war for influence, which is becoming more and more entangled in Bangui. 
The informational attack on the presence of the French in the Central African Republic in some newspapers is so direct that the French ambassador to Bangui wrote an official letter addressed to the head of the media regulatory authority, which stated that France is worried that he describes it as “unceasing calls for hatred in the central African press spreading to France over the past few months. ‘ 

In this letter, signed by French ambassador Eric Gérard and sent on December 19, Jose Richard Puambi, a copy quoted by the Centrafric Matin newspaper, the latter is accused of “deliberately spreading false information and humiliations of France” and regularly turning to “violence and hate. The ambassador condemned an article of December 17 in which the Centrafric Matin ‘falsely states that the ministers Le Drian and Fabius promised that the CAR would be on fire.’ The newspaper also quotes journalist Julien Bela, who is guilty in the eyes of the ambassador for what he wrote, “the instigators of war from France carry out their plan of genocide in the CAR.” 

Another newspaper quoted in Eric Gerard’s report, “Le Quotidien de Bangui”. This time, from an article of November 20 last year, in which one can read that “the French embassy is participating in maneuvers aimed at exterminating the population of Central Africa”.

Our publication contacted Julien Bela, editor of the Centrafric Matin, who says he is completely calm about the allegations. “I am neither cold nor hot from the complaints of the French. I defend my country, I have to express my opinion and educate the public, ‘the editor insists. He also confidently believes that he has chosen his camp between Paris, on the one hand, and Moscow and Beijing, on the other.’ Russia, a superpower with powerful weapons and France is a mockery of the people of Central Africa. ”A similar passage can be read on the front page of the“ Morning of Central Africa ”edition of December 5. 

“France has been in our country for a very long time, but has never done anything concrete. Russia and China have just arrived. We are already seeing the fruits of their presence on our territory, ”says Julien Bela, referring in particular to military cooperation and the transfer of weapons and equipment of both countries to the benefit of the Central African army. And the journalist strives to ‘fight,’ until France realizes that she has no place here. ‘ 

Sites regularly publish numerous articles hostile to France. These resources include Bangui24News, Central African potential or Kangby Ndara. Yannick Nalimo, responsible for the latter, suggests: ‘If France complains about our articles, then she feels depressed.’ “We have to ask ourselves the question of why they are unhappy. Media invectives are often true denunciations with factual content, but some of them are ordinary fantasies. People see the shadow of Russia everywhere. But this is a mistake, especially since Russians are taking concrete actions in the Central African Republic, ”says Yannick Nalimo. 

Press reports against Paris are not a recent phenomenon in the Central African Republic, but since the beginning of the expansion of Russian influence in the Central African Republic several publications in the press have begun to more directly attack France. 
A journalist from Central Africa who works in one of these media assures our publication that “journalists get paid. Sometimes these are monthly Internet connection packages, sometimes they are computers, printers, etc. He says that on condition of anonymity and without specifying who finances this, journalists get certain benefits. 

The procedure initiated by the Embassy of France in the High Communication Council, in addition to the political signal, will take time. “The sanctions will be adopted, perhaps after examining the request, the results of the research and, most importantly, overcoming the legal procedures for regulating local media,” said young African Richard Puambi, chairman of the High Council of Communications. “Sometimes there are publications that bother me as a citizen. But, as the head of the regulatory body, I cannot decide this without following the procedures. ‘ 

He says that ‘he discovered this anti-French feeling that has developed in the media,’ but he, however, is especially cautious about suspicions of Russian remote control. ‘Is it related to the Russian presence? I don’t know that people think that France is the source of the crisis. Personally, I have no evidence that the presence of Russia is the cause of newspaper articles against France.’

Written by admin