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Nov 5, 2013

Tunisia president says hopeful despite suspension of government talks

PARIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s president said on Tuesday he was optimistic his country would stay on the path to democracy despite a suspension of talks between ruling Islamists and opposition parties on forming a new caretaker government.

Monday’s suspension of talks after the two sides failed to agree on a prime minister has dealt a blow to hopes of a quick end to political deadlock in Tunisia, whose 2011 uprising inspired the “Arab Spring” revolts across the region.

Nov 3, 2013

France says its journalists ‘coldly assassinated’ in Mali

PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – France said on Sunday two French journalists found dead in the northern Mali region of Kidal had been “coldly assassinated” by militants and vowed to step up security measures in the area.

Radio journalists Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont were abducted after interviewing a member of the MNLA Tuareg separatist group in northern Mali.

Nov 3, 2013

French public want Hollande to change policies: poll

PARIS (Reuters) – The vast majority of French people want President Francois Hollande to change his polices or reshuffle his government, an opinion poll suggested on Sunday, a day after thousands protested against tax hikes and rising unemployment.

Hollande, the most unpopular French president on record according to a previous poll, has been hit by public anger over his economic methods, rows over immigration policy and repeated gaffes within the government.

Nov 2, 2013

Two French journalists abducted, killed in northern Mali

BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) – Two French radio journalists were killed by gunmen in northern Mali on Saturday shortly after being abducted in the town of Kidal, French and Malian officials said.

The French government confirmed that 58-year old Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont, 51, both journalists at RFI radio, had been found dead.

Oct 29, 2013

Hollande says four French hostages kidnapped in Niger freed

NIAMEY/PARIS (Reuters) – Four French hostages kidnapped by al Qaeda’s north African arm three years ago in Niger have been released, President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday.

Pierre Legrand, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dol and Marc Feret were kidnapped by AQIM in September 2010 while working for French nuclear group Areva and a subsidiary of construction group Vinci in Arlit in Niger.

Oct 28, 2013

U.S. says renewed Congo fighting risks engulfing region

PARIS (Reuters) – The United States said on Monday renewed fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between the army and M23 rebels risked dragging neighboring countries into the conflict and it urged all sides to return to the negotiating table.

Following two months of relative calm in the region, fighting flared last Friday after peace talks in neighboring Uganda broke down when M23 rebels demanded an amnesty for their leaders. President Joseph Kabila has ruled out a blanket pardon.

Oct 17, 2013

France says treating Iran’s nuclear overture with caution

PARIS (Reuters) – France is treating Iranian overtures to the international community over its nuclear program with caution and is waiting to see concrete proposals, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday.

The United States on Wednesday described two days of nuclear talks with Iran as the most serious to date after diplomats said Tehran hinted it was ready to scale back sensitive atomic activities to secure urgent sanctions relief.

Oct 15, 2013

France in demand again as Central Africa crisis deepens

BANGUI (Reuters) – France, whose troops this year halted an Islamist assault towards Mali’s capital, is now in demand from another of its former African colonies.

“Let’s make up with the mother that feeds us! President Hollande we want your help!” read one banner as cheering locals welcomed France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to Central African Republic at the weekend.

Oct 13, 2013

France to increase troops in Central African Republic

BANGUI (Reuters) – France will boost its troop presence in the Central African Republic by the end of the year end under a forthcoming U.N. resolution to help prevent the country from spiraling out of control, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday.

Fabius and the European Union aid chief, Kristalina Georgieva, are in the country to drum up support and international interest for a largely forgotten crisis.

Oct 11, 2013

France wants action on Central Africa ‘sectarian poison’

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister heads to the Central African Republic (CAR) on Sunday aiming to drum up international interest for a largely forgotten crisis that risks dragging Paris into a new military intervention in one of its former colonies.

The nation has descended into chaos since mostly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in March, the latest coup in the country that remains one of the world’s poorest despite resources ranging from gold to uranium.