“What has been, has been,” said French President François Hollande as he ruled out payment of reparations for the role of the state-owned CDC bank in the slave trade. During his speech to mark France’s slavery remembrance day, Hollande went on to say: “History cannot be rubbed out. It cannot be subjected to an accounting [...]
As France commemorates the abolishment of slavery in the past, it remains haunted by slavery in the present.
Thousands who fled northern Mali when rebels seized power, now feel safe enough to return home. Many have spent months in exile, pushed out last year when Tuaregs joined with Islamist armed groups. France sent troops to help rout the rebels in January, and is now planning a gradual withdrawal.
French Defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Gao, Mali, to address French troops and officers along with their African counterparts. Le Drian’s visit Friday comes as a gradual withdrawal of more than 4,000 French troops from northern Mali gets underway, after they intervened to stop a rebel advance in January. A U.N peacekeeping force [...]
The first images are emerging of an explosion that struck the French Embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. At 7 a.m. local time, a car said to be carrying explosives was detonated outside the building in the smart residential area of al-Andalus. The blast wounded two guards and destroyed the reception. Neighboring houses are [...]
France has started pulling its troops from Mali – the first step in handing over operations to a United Nations-approved African force. The French had anticipated a short campaign against Islamist insurgents in January – but now plan to keep one thousand troops by the end of the year.
Marseille wasn’t on my original itinerary. After touring a chateau of the Loire Valley and exploring Bordeaux, I planned to visit Toulouse and St. Girons in the French Pyrenees, but there was a problem. Bad weather had been following me around France. I’d had one lovely sunny day in Mont Saint Michel and another one [...]
Central African Republic President Francois Bozize was forced out of the country Saturday as Seleka rebels seized the presidential palace in the capital of Bangui. Bozize fled south to the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to government officials. With rebels now controlling the city, Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye hopes that peace talks can begin. “I [...]
Malian forces pushed back rebels attacking a major town after two hours of fighting Saturday. Working with French-led allied troops, the Malian army recaptured Gao in January after months of occupation by Islamist extremists. Members of the Movement for the Oneness of Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) enforced strict Shariah law during the occupation of [...]
A fourth French soldier has been killed in Mali during a reconnaissance mission near Gao, the main city in the north. And former President Nicolas Sarkozy criticized the French intervention, claiming that it is only serving to “support putschists.” Brigadier Wilfred Pingaud, 37, who was a member of an artillery regiment, was killed on Wednesday [...]