French actions with regard to reinforcing African peacekeeping capabilities: a national approach towards essential integration within the European Union’s strategy vis-à-vis the Dark Continent.
Peacekeeping in Africa
The European Council, meeting on 15 and 16 December 2005, agreed the plan entitled ‘The EU and Africa: towards a strategic partnership’.(1) It indicates the priority which has been given to the subject by Africa and the EU and aims at improving the coordination of the actions of the 25 member states and the Commission, through a common frame of reference. France, which has been involved with the Dark Continent for a long time, must bring its policies for aid and peacekeeping reinforcement into line with this European strategy.
The beginnings: assistance to new states
At the time of decolonisation, at the beginning of the 1960s, France was inevitably involved in this change, but also tied to the future of the new African states, supporting the development of those that wanted it. To begin with this aid took the form of ‘cooperation by substitution’. In most of the critical areas, for example that of defence, the emerging African states did not immediately have the necessary skills and nation-building capabilities, at least not for states as the term is understood in the developed world.
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