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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La Francophonie voit dans l’Afrique son avenir

by S.G.

Francophonie Sees Its Future in Africa

Translated Monday 15 October 2012, by Stephan Crown-Weber and reviewed by Bill Scoble

As the 14th Francophonie Summit came to an end on Sunday afternoon in Kinshasa, the organization’s 56 member countries promised to support the development of Africa. One sign of their intentions: the 15th summit will be in Dakar.

On Sunday, as the morning ended, Francophonie adopted its “Kinshasa Declaration. The organization’s 56 member countries and 20 observer states issued a statement covering a wide range of topics.

Here are the highlights:

A Place for Africa on the UN Security Council

“We reiterate our support for pursuing reform of world governance conducive to creating a balanced, multilateral system guaranteeing permanent and equitable representation for Africa in decision-making organs,” the OIF members countries concluded in their final declaration.

“As part of necessary reforms of the United Nations Security Council, African countries should receive a proper place,” they insisted. The expression they chose - proper place - lets the Organization avoid weighing in on the exact form of representation that it wants Africa to have on the Security Council. Canada was notably opposed to Francophonie’s call for a permanent African seat on the Council.

“We reiterate our call to pursue inviting two African countries to the G20 summit and to the G20’s summit preparations,” Francophonie members also declared.
Currently, South Africa is the only African country invited to the G20.

A Renewed Partnership with Africa

Francophonie has made a general commitment to “support Africa in a renewed partnership.” “The African continent is playing a growing role in global governance. Africa is the new center of growth. It represents the future of Francophonie, thanks to the dynamism of its youth and its vast potential,” the group of francophone countries concluded.

According to the organization’s projections, 85% of the world’s 715 million French-speakers in 2050 could be Africans.

Mali: Reinforcement of Negotiations and Support for Military

On Sunday in Kinshasa, francophone countries called for “strengthening the negotiation process” in northern Mali occupied by armed Islamist groups; meanwhile, they threw their “support” behind Bamako’s request for international intervention.

In this text, the OIF does not explicitly support the “military solution” (as its secretary general, Abdou Diaf, did before the summit). But it does support “the demands of the Malian authorities, who are soliciting assistance from the international community so they can reestablish state control of North-Mali and fight terrorism.”

“We ask CEDEAO, the African Union, and the UN Security Council to respond favorably to this request (editors: for military intervention),” Francophonie’s member countries write.

Sanctions Against Violence in the Eastern DRC

Despite Rwanda’s misgivings, Francophonie leaders in Kinshasa on Sunday called for the United Nations Security Council to “adopt sanctions targeting all those responsible for the violence committed” in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A UN report recently charged Rwandan military officials with supporting rebels from the March 23 Movement (M23) who oppose the Congolese army in the eastern DRC—allegations that Kigali denies.

Rwanda also rejected another point of the resolution, one demanding that the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the DRC be brought to justice.

The resolution roundly condemns “the massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the eastern RDC, particularly the murders of civilians, the displacement of populations, the recruitment of child soldiers, and sexual violence.”

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