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Marine Le Pen says not to forget France's positive contribution to Africa, despite its connection to slavery

media Front National leader Marine Le Pen Reuters/Robert Pratta

 Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s far right party Front National (FN), declared on Sunday that while there is nothing more horrible than slavery, one should not forget that “France has done many positive things” in Africa.

“We are not the only nation to have committed mistakes there”, said Le Pen in an interview on France 3, just two days after the 10 May National Day in Memory of Slavery, Slave Trade and Abolition. She added that there is rarely much talk about the Arab-Muslim slave trade.

Le Pen added that France has contributed positively to Africa through the construction of hospitals, roads, and schools.

“This is something we never talk about. I will say it once again that the socialists, more so on the part of the [ruling] UMP, have a very narrow vision with respect to these countries.” said Le Pen.

She continued on to say that President François Hollande was right in remaining firm in his decision to refuse any retribution for slavery, until a member of the Council of Representatives of Black Associations pointed a finger at the French financial institution, the Caisse des depots (CDC), for having profited from the slave trade.

To that accusation, a member of the FN responded by saying there is a modern form of slavery going on that is the “child of globalisation […]. “Slavery is what happened in Bangladesh, resulting in 1000 deaths after the building belonging to multinational corporations collapsed on its workers”.

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