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France slams Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ over depiction of its army in Africa



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The Paris defense minister on Sunday condemned the latest installment of Marvel’s Black Panther series, which depicts French troops being captured while trying to steal resources from the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda.

“I strongly condemn this false and deceptive representation of our armed forces,” wrote Sébastien Lecornu on Twitter, responding to a clip from the November film posted by a journalist.

Bound group footage French soldiers were brought into a United Nations meeting, to the embarrassment of Paris’s ambassador to the world organization, after they were caught on a secret mission to a Wakandan base in Mali.

Journalist Jean Bexon, who posted the Black Panther clip, noted: “The evil French mercenaries operating in Mali dress up like soldiers in Operation Barkhane,” a real-life military mission.

France is particularly sensitive to its image in West Africa after the junta in Mali and Burkina Faso demanded that the French army leave, deployed to the Sahel region since 2013 to fight jihadists.

“I am remembering and honoring the 58 French soldiers who died defending Mali, at their request, against Islamic terrorist groups,” Lecornu wrote.


The Defense Ministry told AFP that France is not calling for the recall or censorship of a work of art.

But “do not allow revisionism over recent French actions in Mali: we intervened at the request of the county itself to fight armed terrorist groups, far from the story told in films, specifically the French army came to rob natural resources,” the ministry added. .

People close to Lecornu said he was “angry to see the film”, which was released as Russia appeared to be making progress in turning the people of West Africa against France and its military deployments. this country.

Mali calls Russian mercenary group Wagner to bolster its army after the French army left – although the authorities continued to deny hiring fighters – and there was speculation that Burkina might follow suit.

Online, cartoons circulated by pro-Russian accounts and influencers show France sending skeletons and a giant snake to “conquer the whole of Africa”, in videos analyzed by AFP Factcheck. accumulated this month.

Armed white men in Wagner combat uniforms are seen coming to the rescue of soldiers carrying the flags of Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

A French military source admitted earlier this month: “We are faced with a steam glider that plays with the perception of locals struggling to exist” due to war and famine.

In November, President Emmanuel Macron stressed that today’s “influence” is a “strategic priority”.

(AFP)

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