Over the weekend, French Prime Minister,Edouard Phillipe who was on an official visit to Senegal, had conversations with President Macky Sall over seven bilateral agreements which were signed between the two countries.
A significant historical and cultural highlight of the tour was the restore to Senegal by France, of a sword belonging to an Islamic scholar and leader of the 19th century, Hajj Umar Saidou Tall, who led an anti-colonial war against France.
The antique, a curved metal, brass and wood sword, was handed over by the Prime Minister to President Macky Sall in its sheath, at the ceremony which held at the presidential palace in Dakar.
Reports show that the scholar’s descendants were present at the ceremony.
In recent times, France has promised to restore historic objects that had been forcefully or illegally taken from its former protectorates, especially in West Africa.
One of such examples is with historic artifacts from Benin Republic that are still locked up in French museums. A delegate thanks both governments for an effort on restitution.
PM Philippe stressed that the return was “the first step” in Paris ‘ commitment to restore more Senegalese objects in French museums at the moment.
This is a welcomed development in the face continous criticism of the post-colonial relationship of France with her former colonies in Africa. \
European museums are filled with stolen artifacts from all over Africa, and it is time that these European governments and private collectors do the right thing and return the properties to their rightful owners.