PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) – France denounced Syria’s
assurance that its forces were complying with a U.N.-backed
ceasefire deal as a “blatant lie” and urged foreign governments
on Tuesday to challenge President Bashar al-Assad’s
In scarcely diplomatic language, the French Foreign Ministry
spokesman said: “The Syrian foreign minister’s statements this
morning, affirming an initial implementation of the Annan plan
by the Damascus regime, are a fresh expression of this blatant
and unacceptable lie.
PARIS (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday there could only be a resolution to the Tuareg-led rebellion in the north of Mali through a political dialogue and urged regional cooperation to fight al Qaeda’s expansion in the area.
For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned coup on March 22 that emboldened Tuareg rebels to seize half the country in their quest for a northern homeland.
PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s military rulers on Wednesday postponed a national convention to end a crisis sparked by a coup, which has led to international isolation and allowed rebels to seize control of the northern half of the country.
Colonel Moussa Coulibaly, an adviser to the head of the junta, said the talks, which political parties and civil society groups had earlier said they would boycott, were postponed to provide more time for preparations.
PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s political parties on Wednesday rejected the army’s plan to hold a national convention to end a crisis sparked by a coup, which has led to international isolation and let rebels seize control of the northern half of the country.
France and the United Nations warned that the seizure of northern Mali by rebels was playing into the hands of local al Qaeda units, and former colonial power France urged Algeria and other neighbors to do more to tackle the threat.
PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – France warned on Wednesday the seizure of northern Mali by a Tuareg-led rebellion was playing into the hands of local al Qaeda units, urging neighbors including Algeria to do more to tackle the threat.
For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned March 22 coup that emboldened Tuareg rebels in their quest for a northern homeland.
PARIS (Reuters) – Police arrested 10 suspected Islamist militants in dawn raids across France on Wednesday after a shooting spree by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman prompted President Nicolas Sarkozy to order a security clampdown, just ahead of an April 22 election.
The DCRI domestic intelligence service, supported by elite police commandos, carried out arrests in the southern cities of Marseille and Valence, two smaller towns in the southwest, and in the northeastern town of Roubaix, a police source said.
PARIS (Reuters) – Thirteen people linked to a radical French Islamist group arrested last week are being put under investigation on suspicion of terrorism, the Paris public prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Those under inquiry were among 19 arrested in swoops across several cities on March 30, a week after police killed Mohamed Merah, an al Qaeda-inspired gunman who shot dead seven people, including three Jewish children, in three separate attacks.
PARIS (Reuters) – France is pushing for the U.N. Security Council to issue a statement on Mali later on Tuesday to show its support of the 15-state West African bloc ECOWAS’s efforts to find a solution to the escalating crisis.
Speaking to reporters, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Paris had put forward several topics of discussion that it wanted the Security Council to back.
TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – Minutes after commandos stormed the apartment building where al Qaeda-inspired gunman Mohamed Merah was holed up and shot him dead, neighbor Jean-Marc was out on the street venting his anger.
“They criticize Marine Le Pen for her views on immigration and security but look at what’s happening. Now people will listen,” said the cafe owner in this southern city, where Merah plotted the murder of three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children.
TOULOUSE (Reuters) – The man without a face, dark visor down on his motorcycle helmet, strides after a child into her schoolyard, grabs her by the hair and calmly shoots her in the head.
Cold-blooded killing gets no more glacial than the murder of 8-year-old Myriam Monsonego by a serial gunman who one witness described wearing a camera to film his victims and was called by his pursuers “meticulous”, “calculating” and “well prepared”.