Le paradoxe africain

PARIS – Début février, le procès de Pascal Simbikangwa, accusé de complicité dans le génocide au Rwanda, où 800 000 personnes ont été tuées entre avril et juillet 1994, s'est ouvert à Paris. Malheureusement les massacres en Afrique continuent. Au Sud-Soudan, le plus jeune Etat de l'Afrique, des massacres de civils sont toujours en cours, en particulier autour de la ville de Bor. Et l'intervention militaire française en Centrafrique n'a pas mis un terme aux graves violences intercommunautaires dans ce pays.

Pourtant paradoxalement, alors même que ces épisodes continuent de se produire en Afrique et peut-être à une plus grande échelle que partout ailleurs dans le monde, ce continent est également devenu un symbole d'espoir. En effet, la perpétuation de la violence extrême contraste fortement avec le profil démographique favorable de l'Afrique et avec les progrès en cours de ces dernières années en matière économique, politique et sociale.

On peut penser à ce paradoxe en termes de fermeture d'une parenthèse de quatre siècles. Depuis le XVIIème siècle, l'Afrique a été essentiellement un objet de l'histoire. Ses habitants ont d'abord été traités dans la traite des esclaves comme de simples marchandises nécessaires à la croissance économique des autres pays. Puis les puissances coloniales ont divisé le continent artificiellement et arbitrairement, en dissimulant leur cupidité derrière de nobles prétextes : leur mission était vue comme « civilisatrice ».

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