DAKAR/PARIS (Reuters) – Any foreign-backed offensive to retake control of northern Mali from al Qaeda-linked Islamists will take at least six months to prepare, plans seen by Reuters show, a delay that runs counter to the expectations of many Malians.
The timing allows space for talks aimed at fragmenting the Islamist militias and stabilizing a shaky Bamako government, but it risks giving Islamist hardliners an opportunity to dig in.
PARIS, Nov 15 (Reuters) – France will discuss supplying arms
to Syrian opposition forces with its European partners in the
coming weeks now that an opposition coalition has been
established, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday.
France is wary of militarising the 20-month-old conflict,
but is also reluctant to leave areas under opposition control
unprotected against attacks by President Bashar al-Assad’s
forces, Fabius told RTL radio.
PARIS (Reuters) – Militants who killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya in September probably had links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the top U.S. general in Africa said on Wednesday, warning that a growing threat from the group must be urgently addressed.
General Carter Ham, head of the United States’ Africa Command, said that a military plan unveiled on Sunday by West African regional bloc ECOWAS to dislodge AQIM from northern Mali still needed detailed work, and any intervention would probably take “some months to prepare”.
PARIS, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Militants who killed the U.S.
ambassador to Libya in September probably had links to al Qaeda
in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the top U.S. general in Africa
said on Wednesday, warning that a growing threat from the group
must be urgently addressed.
General Carter Ham, head of the United States’ Africa
Command, said that a military plan unveiled on Sunday by West
African regional bloc ECOWAS to dislodge AQIM from northern Mali
still needed detailed work, and any intervention would probably
take “some months to prepare”.
CAIRO/PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – France became the first
European power to recognise Syria’s new opposition coalition as
the sole representative of its people and said on Tuesday it
would look into arming rebels against President Bashar al-Assad
once they form a government.
Twenty months into their bloody uprising against Assad,
fragmented Syrian opposition groups struck a deal in Qatar on
Sunday to form a broad coalition and their leader immediately
appealed for European backing.
PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – France broke ranks with its
European allies on Tuesday by officially recognising Syria’s new
opposition coalition and said it would consider arming the
rebels once they created a government in waiting.
Syrian opposition groups struck a deal in Doha on Sunday to
form a broad coalition to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad
after 20 months of an uprising against his rule.
PARIS/ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria has given its tacit approval for an Africa-led military intervention in northern Mali to rout Islamist militants despite reservations the operation could spill over into its territory and neighboring countries, Algerian and French sources said.
Africa’s biggest country and a top oil and gas exporter shares a 2,000 km (1,242 mile) border with Mali and sees itself as the major regional power, wary of any outside interference.
PARIS, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The Kurdish National Congress, a
coalition of Kurdish groups across Europe, said on Friday it
considered the arrest of one of its members in France as a
“head-on attack” against the Kurdish people to satisfy Turkey.
Adem Uzun, deemed by Ankara to be the main leader in Europe
of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) armed separatist
group, was detained this week pending trial on suspicion of
belonging to a terrorist association and trying to acquire
PARIS (Reuters) – UNESCO is in its “worst ever financial situation” after its biggest contributor the United States froze funding last year, the director general of the United Nations’ cultural agency said on Thursday.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization was plunged into crisis in October 2011 when Washington, an ally of Israel, cancelled its grant in protest at the body’s decision to grant the Palestinians full membership.
KINSHASA/PARIS, Oct 10 (Reuters) – President Francois
Hollande looks set to make African leaders sweat at a gathering
of French-speaking nations in Democratic Republic of Congo this
week, when he attempts to cut murky ties with France’s former
More than 70 French-speaking countries, many of them
African, will arrive in Kinshasa for the 14th annual
Francophonie summit Oct. 12-14, with Congo’s eastern rebellion
and the Islamist takeover of Mali’s north to top the agenda.