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May 20, 2014

France delays Sahel counter-insurgency plan after Mali violence

PARIS (Reuters) – France has delayed plans to redeploy 3,000 soldiers to fight militants across Africa’s Sahel region, saying it first needs to help deal with a fresh outbreak of violence in northern Mali.

Paris had hoped to move the troops from its former colony Mali and other bases to target Islamist groups operating between southern Libya, northern Chad and northern Niger. It fears the fighters could use the region as a base for wider attacks.

May 17, 2014

West Africa leaders vow to wage ‘total war’ on Boko Haram

PARIS (Reuters) – West African leaders on Saturday agreed to work together to wage “total war” on Boko Haram saying the Nigerian Islamist group had become a regional al Qaeda that threatened all of them.

Nigeria’s neighbors Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin, and Western officials, met in Paris to flesh out a plan enabling them for the first time to share intelligence, coordinate action and monitor borders.

May 17, 2014

Britain offers Nigeria military advisers as Boko Haram plan emerges

PARIS (Reuters) – Britain is offering to send advisers to help Nigeria’s military structure its efforts to fight Boko Haram, Foreign Minister William Hague said on Saturday, ahead of a meeting to hammer out a strategy to tackle the Islamist group.

West African leaders are meeting in Paris to try to improve cooperation in their fight against the group which last month kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls and threatens to destabilize the wider region.

May 16, 2014

Paris summit to try to rally region against Nigeria’s Boko Haram

PARIS/ABUJA (Reuters) – West African leaders meet in Paris on Saturday to try to improve cooperation in their fight against the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls and threatens to destabilize the wider region.

Outrage over the kidnapping has already prompted Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, criticized at home for his government’s slow response, to accept U.S., British and French intelligence help in the hunt for the girls.

May 14, 2014

Chinese police to patrol Paris streets as France eyes tourism boost

PARIS (Reuters) – Chinese police officers will join their French counterparts in patrolling some of Paris’ main tourism spots this summer as France looks to encourage more visitors from the Asian nation to boost its revenues.

France welcomes some 1.4 million Chinese tourists each year and sees doubling that number as a way to slash its trade deficit by about 2 billion euros. Each Chinese visitor spends an average 1,500 euros per visit and local and Chinese media have carried reports that they have been targeted by muggers.

May 13, 2014

French journalist killed in Central African Republic

PARIS/BANGUI, May 13 (Reuters) – A French journalist has
been killed in Central African Republic, the office of President
Francois Hollande said on Tuesday, the first death of a Western
reporter in the country since France sent troops there in
December.

French soldiers found the body of freelance photojournalist
Camille Lepage, 26, in a vehicle they had stopped that was being
driven by “anti-balaka” militia fighters, Hollande’s office said
in a statement.

May 12, 2014

Despite pressure, France won’t cancel warship deal with Russia

PARIS/BAKU, May 12 (Reuters) – France will press ahead with
a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell Mistral
helicopter carriers to Russia because cancelling the deal would
do more damage to Paris than to Moscow, French diplomatic
sources said on Monday.

France’s move illustrates the limitations of European Union
sanctions meant to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea
and dissuade Moscow from intervening in east Ukraine.

May 9, 2014

Uganda says warlord Kony could take advantage of South Sudan chaos

PARIS (Reuters) – Uganda said on Friday it was worried that warlord Joseph Kony could take advantage of conflicts in the region, and promised to pull back its troops in South Sudan once a U.N.-led mission was at full strength, to focus on pursuing Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.

Uganda sent forces into South Sudan to back the government shortly after fighting broke out in December between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and to his sacked deputy Riek Machar. Months of peace talks have produced little result, although Kiir and Machar were reported to have agreed a ceasefire on Friday night, in their first face-to-face meeting since the conflict began.

May 8, 2014

No decision on French carrier deal to Russia before October – source

PARIS (Reuters) – France will not review its 1.2 billion-euro (£0.98 billion) contract to sell helicopter carriers to Russia earlier than planned because of the Ukraine crisis, despite U.S. concerns, a French government source said on Thursday.

Paris has come under pressure from Washington and some European partners to reconsider its supply of high-tech military hardware to Moscow, and has responded by saying it will review the deal in October – but not before.

May 8, 2014

No decision on French carrier deal to Russia before Oct-source

PARIS (Reuters) – France will not review its 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell helicopter carriers to Russia earlier than planned because of the Ukraine crisis, despite U.S. concerns, a French government source said on Thursday.

Paris has come under pressure from Washington and some European partners to reconsider its supply of high-tech military hardware to Moscow, and has responded by saying it will review the deal in October – but not before.