By Yusuf Ozcan
The military operations launched by France in the African continent led to civilian causalities which are kept hidden by the country, French writer Raphael Granvaud said.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, the writer of "What is the French army doing in Africa?", spoke about France's military operations in African countries.
Granvaud -- also spokesman for the non-governmental organisation Survie -- said that the number of civilian causalities as a result of the military operations in Africa for nearly 50 years are "unclear as there is no research or extensive knowledge about it".
"The French army is doing everything it takes to hide civilian casualties, this is why we do not know the exact number of civilian casualties caused by the military operations by France," he said.
Granvaud said that the investigation into the deaths as a result of France’s military operations claimed there were no civilian casualties occurred.
"It is clear that France's military operations in Africa led to civilian casualties," he added.
Granvaud said that there could also be other crimes committed by French soldiers, adding the military hid the fact that children were subjected to rape during Operation Sangaris in Central African Republic.
In the name of fighting terrorism, the writer said, France is aiming to gain political influence through military operation in the continent.
Granvaud stated that the "Operation Serval" in Mali is also an example to show France’s economic dimension behind its operations on the African content.
In January 2013, France launched its "Operation Serval" against several militant groups in the country's north that ended in July 2014.
"France's military operations in Africa are not legitimate," he said.
Instead of solving problems, Granvaud said, France is creating "troubles" in the countries where it intervenes militarily.
"For example, about the Operation Licorne in the Ivory Coast in 2002, France had said these were humanitarian operations and aimed to prevent genocide, but we saw when the operations concluded, France did not solve any problems," he added.
Speaking about the Operation Sangaris in Central African Republic, the writer said no problems were solved in the country and the militias there also did not leave their weapons.
"France has only intervened in Africa to defend its interests, so France will be the last country to launch a military operation to solve the problems in Africa," he said.
Granvaud said if France would have wanted to conduct a neutral intervention in Africa, it would have put its troops at the service of the United Nations.
With its colonial activities dating back to 1524, France dominated more than 20 countries in the west and north of Africa.
Between 1962 and 2011, France conducted 228 military operations worldwide including in Africa.
Since August 2014, nearly 4,000 French troops have been deployed in five West African countries -- including Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad -- to help fight against militant groups in the Sahel region, especially in Mali.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.