Claim: France to pay reparations to colonised African countries.
Verdict: FALSE. Analysis reveals that the video has been altered and has no relation to anything the French president said at the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
A YouTube video showing the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has caught the attention of many after its caption says France will pay reparations to colonised African countries.
“France To Pay Reparations To Colonized African Countries,” the caption reads.
France once colonised some African countries, including Senegal, Gambia, Chad, Mali, Benin Republic, Sudan, Tunisia, Niger, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Cote d’Ivoire other African nations. French colonialists annexed their first colony in 1830 after they had taken over Algeria.
The nine minutes, five seconds video posted by AlienJacketSatire, shows Mr Macron walking into the conference hall and addressing the Assembly.
While the French President’s voice could be heard in the background uttering his speech in French, a male interpreter’s voice could be heard interpreting in English.
The video shows the 45-year-old French President owning up to the insufferable treatment meted out to the African countries France had colonised and apologised to them.
The video ended with Mr Macron promising to return all the monies that France had taken from its colonies, with “open and constructive dialogue” to begin with.
The video aroused various reactions from viewers who have scorned the French President’s pleas or embraced it as a turning point for Africa’s restoration, while others just took it with a pinch of salt.
“We (are) not fools(.) We know they are not sorry(.) Action speaks louder than false apologies,” a commenter, Makuwati Thokozani, wrote.
Another user, THE PLIGHT AND STRUGGLE OF…, commented, “It appears that the WORLD may finally be willing to at least BE REASONABLE IN THE WORLD towards Black People WORLDWIDE”.
“Let us see if the words will be matched with action in a short time,” Kasali Obanoyen wrote.
Due to the sensitivity of the subject and the reactions it generated, DUBAWA decided to fact-check the claim for authenticity.
While we listened to the utterances of the interpreter, we noticed that the opening statement, “…to stand before you today, April 30, 2023, to address the Assembly,” referred to an Assembly, so we searched for Mr Macron’s address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on April 30, 2023. The search, however, brought nothing related.
We went further to review the schedule of all the General Assembly meetings held within April, and there was none booked for April 30, 2023 (probably because April 30, 2023, was on a Sunday.)
We then checked Mr Macron’s last appearance at UNGA, where we found the same video that AlienJacketSatire posted. The about 30 minutes video was dated back to September 20, 2022, when Mr Macron made an address at the 77th UNGA.
When we listened to the video, we discovered that contrary to the video AlienJacketSatire posted, a woman interpreted in English as the French President spoke in French.
We also observed that the speech of the French president in the original video was timely regarding the international issues that existed at the time and those who were present at the conference hall.
While Mr Macron acknowledged the yearning spirit of those who had fought to ensure that France and the rest of the world enjoy freedom and survival, such as the UN, he addressed the war between Russia and Ukraine, among other things he mentioned.
Something to note while the French President addressed the Assembly is that each time he talked about matters related to a particular country, the cameras flashed on the seated delegates of the country. This happened when the French President talked about France, Russia, and Ukraine.
Remember that in the video AlienJacketSatire posted, none of the African countries he mentioned was present at the hall since it wasn’t an entire house session. So why speak about people who wouldn’t be present at the occasion?
Moreso, addressing a pressing issue such as the Russia-Ukraine war at the UNGA bore a time significance, especially when the war was less than a year old and still ravished the European States.
It also makes it less congruent, less significant, and even doubtful how the total time allotted to a French President is spent apologising to all African countries for acts committed by leaders who have ruled several decades before him.
Also, the choice of words purportedly used by the French President in describing the acts of French colonialists on their African colonies are unlikely words a President would use. Words like, “repugnant exploitation,” “evil deeds,” “cruelty,” “unforgivable treatment,” “devastation,” “draconian treatment,” “barbaric,” and “generational poverty.”
It is far from the diplomacy and economic truth that world leaders are renowned for at international gatherings. The choice of words in the altered video would be viewed as Mr Macron misrepresenting the country even if it indeed happened.
The claim is false. A careful analysis of the video shows it has been edited. Also, online records reveal that the UN scheduled nothing on the date mentioned in the video.
Moreso, the edited video lacks context regarding the world issues that abound at the time.