The French Interior Minister has initiated proceedings to ban a group, known as the “Black African Defense League”, claiming it is a racist organization that promotes hatred and discrimination.
On Monday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin posted a statement on Twitter that the Black African Defense League (LDNA) would be banned in France following a weekend in which the group was allegedly involved in violence.
“I have decided to launch the procedure for opening the dissolution of the Black African Defense League. The speeches of this racist structure call for hatred and discrimination. His actions cause disturbances to public order, like this weekend in Val-de-Reuil ”, he tweeted.
The group describes itself on Facebook as a “Revolutionary movement for the defense of the rights of Afro-descendants and Africans”. Almost 300,000 people have subscribed to his Facebook page. Its president and founder Egountchi Behanzin calls himself a “Political activist, pan-African resistance fighter, freedom fighter, revolutionary” in his Twitter biography.
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Over the weekend, members of the group took part in a protest in Val-de-Reuil, Normandy. In videos shared online, members of the group can be seen apparently harassing officials, as well as occupying town hall. Brawls between Kurdish and African groups have also been reported in the city.
“Contrary to what was supported by the representatives of the city, no physical assault was committed by a supporter of the LDNA on the representatives of the ‘old town of Reuil'”, the group said in response to the reports.
According to BFM TV, the group has 15 days to appeal Darmanin’s decision. If he chooses not to appeal the decision, President Emmanuel Macron can ban the group. If he appeals, the French Council of State – an administrative justice body – will decide the issue.
Macron’s government has been increasingly vocal and active in its dealings with groups it sees as a threat to the state. Earlier this year, he banned the right-wing Generation Identity group and a pan-Turkish nationalist group known as “Gray Wolves”.
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