John's Feed
Mar 18, 2013

Nigerian blasts kill at least 25, Islamists suspected

KANO, Nigeria/PARIS (Reuters) – Five explosions at a bus park in northern Nigeria’s main city of Kano killed at least 25 people on Monday, a Reuters witness said, in an area where Islamist sect Boko Haram is waging an insurgency against the government.

The coordinated bombing came as an audio tape emerged of a man saying he was the father of a family of seven French tourists kidnapped by Boko Haram militants.

Mar 14, 2013

France pushes EU to end Syria arms ban

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – France will urge other European Union governments at a summit on Thursday to lift an embargo on supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition, President Francois Hollande said, saying Europe could not allow the Syrian people to be massacred.

Hollande justified his call to increase European help to the Syrian opposition after a two-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad by saying that weapons were being delivered to Assad’s government, particularly by Russia.

Mar 14, 2013

France, Britain to push EU to end Syria arms ban: Fabius

PARIS (Reuters) – France and Britain want an urgent European Union meeting, possibly this month, to persuade their allies to lift an embargo on supplying arms to the Syrian opposition, France’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

The two countries accuse Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of gambling on a military victory, and hope the threat of arming the rebels will force him into talks and a transition of power after a two-year-old conflict that is destabilizing the region.

Mar 13, 2013

French Senate warns Hollande against big defence cuts

PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) – France’s Senate threatened on
Wednesday to reject plans by the government to slash the
country’s defence budget as part of cost-cutting measures,
saying it would leave the military at “breaking point.”

The Socialist government is battling to reduce state
spending by 60 billion euros ($78 billion) over President
Francois Hollande’s five-year term, and was forced last week to
order ministries to save an extra 5 billion in 2014 as its
deficit target receded.

Mar 13, 2013

France, allies want special force for Mali U.N. mission

PARIS/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – France and its African allies want a heavily-armed force able to counter any resurgent Islamist threat in Mali as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, diplomats said.

The United Nations is considering setting up a 10,000-strong force in the former French colony before presidential and legislative elections in July, a deadline a European diplomat described on Tuesday as “a race against time”.

Mar 12, 2013

Britain, France, push EU to drop Syria arms ban

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Britain and France raised the pressure on other European Union members on Tuesday to lift a ban on supplying arms to Syria, where anti-government rebels are outgunned by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Britain warned that it could break with the embargo altogether, which requires unanimous agreement by the EU’s 27 members to take effect, while France hinted it would push to get the bloc to agree to amend the ban to allow the supply of arms.

Mar 12, 2013

France, allies want rapid-response force for Mali U.N. mission

PARIS/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – France and its African allies want a heavily armed force able to counter any resurgent Islamist threat in Mali as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, diplomats said.

The United Nations is considering setting up a 10,000-strong force in the former French colony before presidential and legislative elections in July, a deadline a European diplomat described on Tuesday as “a race against time”.

Feb 28, 2013

Al Qaeda commander Abou Zeid killed in Mali – Algeria’s Ennahar TV

ALGIERS/DAKAR (Reuters) – French forces have killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of the most feared commanders of al Qaeda’s north Africa wing, during an operation against Islamist fighters in mountainous northern Mali, Algeria’s Ennahar television said on Thursday.

Abou Zeid was among 40 militants killed three days ago in the foothills of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the Algerian border, said Ennahar, which is well connected with Algeria’s security services.

Feb 28, 2013

Al Qaeda commander Abou Zeid killed in Mali: Ennahar TV

ALGIERS/DAKAR (Reuters) – French forces have killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of the most feared commanders of al Qaeda’s north Africa wing (AQIM), during an operation against Islamist fighters in mountainous northern Mali, Algeria’s Ennahar television said on Thursday.

Abou Zeid was among 40 militants killed three days ago in the foothills of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the Algerian border, said Ennahar, which is well connected with Algeria’s security services.

Feb 25, 2013

Islamists threaten to kill French kidnapped in Cameroon

DAKAR (Reuters) – Gunmen claiming to be from Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist group threatened on Monday to kill a kidnapped French family of seven if authorities in Nigeria and Cameroon do not release Muslim militants held there.

French ministers said they believed the three adults and four children seized in Cameroon’s far north near the Nigerian border on Tuesday were being held by Boko Haram which has killed hundreds to try to carve out an Islamist state in Nigeria.