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Dec 14, 2013

U.S., Britain have not helped Syrian rebels enough, Saudi prince says

MONACO (Reuters) – Opponents of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad have been at an impossible disadvantage since the start of the Syrian conflict because the United States and Britain refused to help them, an influential Saudi Arabian prince said on Saturday.

The United States and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria on Thursday after reports that Islamic Front – a union of six major rebel groups – had taken buildings belonging to the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Syrian Military Council on the border with Turkey.

Dec 14, 2013

France, Africa must treat CAR conflict as war, ex-PM says

MONACO (Reuters) – French and African forces intervening in Central African Republic must wage war against the Seleka rebels and not just aim to restore security, a former prime minister said.

Anicet Dologuele, who plans to run for president in the next election, said interim authorities needed to do more to prevent the escalation in religious violence to help restore the people’s faith in the country’s politicians.

Dec 9, 2013

French troops may find Central African Republic mission easier than Mali

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s intervention to quell violence in Central African Republic may prove simpler militarily than the campaign it waged against al Qaeda-linked Islamists in Mali this year, defense experts said.

But, in a country the size of France, imposing state authority after decades of coups, rebellions and poor governance will take years and risks tying Paris down longer than it wants.

Dec 9, 2013

French troops may find C. African Republic mission easier than Mali

PARIS, Dec 9 (Reuters) – France’s intervention to quell
violence in Central African Republic may prove simpler
militarily than the campaign it waged against al Qaeda-linked
Islamists in Mali this year, defence experts said.

But, in a country the size of France, imposing state
authority after decades of coups, rebellions and poor governance
will take years and risks tying Paris down longer than it wants.

Dec 6, 2013

France agrees to help African nations set up military force

PARIS (Reuters) – France agreed on Friday to help African nations create a joint military force to tackle coups, wars and rebellions on the continent, after the former colonial power was forced into its second military operation in Africa this year.

Paris deployed troops to Central African Republic on Friday after it secured U.N. backing for a mission to quell sectarian violence in the nation of 4.6 million people. That followed a French operation to dislodge al Qaeda-linked fighters from the deserts of northern Mali this year.

Dec 6, 2013

France’s Hollande urges Africa to take control of its own security

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande urged African leaders on Friday to take a grip on their continent’s security by creating a long-delayed regional force, after Paris was forced into its second military operation this year.

Paris deployed troops to Central African Republic on Friday after it won U.N. backing for a mission to quell mounting religious violence in the nation of 4.6 million people. That followed a massive French operation to dislodge al Qaeda-linked fighters from the deserts of northern Mali this year.

Dec 6, 2013

Hollande urges Africa to take control of its own security

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande urged African leaders on Friday to take a grip on their continent’s security by creating a long-delayed regional force, after Paris was forced into its second military operation this year.

Paris deployed troops to Central African Republic on Friday after it won U.N. backing for a mission to quell mounting religious violence in the nation of 4.6 million people. That followed a massive French operation to dislodge al Qaeda-linked fighters from the deserts of northern Mali this year.

Dec 6, 2013

Niger sees Areva mine start delayed to end of 2015

PARIS, Dec 6 (Reuters) – French nuclear company Areva
will delay the start of uranium production from its
Imouraren mine in Niger by at least six months to the end of
2015, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Friday.

Speaking ahead of the Franco-African Summit which begins on
Friday, Issoufou told reporters he was confident a deal to renew
10-year contracts for mines run by Areva in northern Niger would
be renewed by the end of the year with a fair outcome for both
sides.

Dec 5, 2013

Sorting out Mali isn’t our job, France says

PARIS (Reuters) – France will not play Africa’s policeman and sort out a territorial dispute in Mali, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday, a day after Mali’s president and Tuareg separatist rebels both criticized Paris for doing too little.

After winning adulation across its former colony for a 5-month military offensive earlier this year that scattered al Qaeda fighters, France is caught in a tug of war between the government in Bamako and Tuareg MNLA rebels in the north, who are demanding some form of autonomy.

Dec 4, 2013

Mali, Tuaregs fault France on failing peace talks

PARIS (Reuters) – Mali’s government and Tuareg separatists both accused France on Wednesday of not doing enough to resolve the political crisis, underscoring the difficulties Paris has in disengaging itself from its former colony.

After winning adulation across Mali for a 5-month military offensive earlier this year that scattered al Qaeda fighters, France is caught in a tug of war between the government in Bamako and rebels demanding some form of autonomy based at Kidal in the north.