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President Macron Begins Tour in Africa, Schools shut down for 2 days in Burkina Faso

Shortly before the arrival of President Emmanuel Macron in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, civil society organizations, renamed the largest avenue in the city. These organizations renamed Avenue Charles De Gaulle as Boulevard Thomas Sankara.

According to the civil society organizations in Burkina Faso, the act was a message to the French President Emmanuel Macron, informing him that the end of Françafrique is real and it must pass from words to actions.

Contrary, the government of Burkina Faso decided to close the schools of Ouagadougou the capital Monday and Tuesday on the occasion of the visit of Emmanuel Macron. A decision which was not welcomed by some Burkinabe citizens.

All schools in Ouagadougou, both private and public schools were closed following a decision by the Minister of National Education.

The Minister of Education indicated that this closure will facilitate the reception of the French President visiting who is visiting the country for 72 hours. According to the Minister of Communication security measures do not allow fluidity in the movement of students.

Students, teachers and parents however protested against this decision. They accused Burkina Faso authorities of sacrificing the children’s future for the sake of a foreign Head of State.

For teachers, this is a risky decision that will have an impact on school programs especially for students in exam classrooms.

Macron’s Message to Africans

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that he wants to punish smugglers who exploit migrants in Libya and denounced the “indisputable crimes” of European colonization. He began his first African tour in an atmosphere tensed by an attack on French soldiers and demonstrations in the capital of Burkina Faso. In a speech to 800 students at the University of Ouagadougou, the French president presented himself as the representative of a generation for which “the crimes of European colonization are indisputable”, while noting that there were also “great things and happy stories” in this past. Emmanuel Macron also announced that he would “propose a Euro-African initiative” to “strike criminal organizations and smuggling networks” that exploit sub-Saharan migrants in Libya. He also announced “massive support for the evacuation of people at risk” in Libya, calling the sale of migrants as slaves a “crime against humanity”.

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