Africa

France publicly destroys seized ivory worth $6m

International — Link

The three tonnes of ivory was crushed in front of the Eiffel Tower in bid to increase international pressure against elephant poaching in Africa.

France to beef up military posts in Africa

International — Link

Defence minister says France is to engage in a regional counterterrorism approach in former French colonies with specialized new outposts.

France showing more fighting spirit than Britain, says UK defence chief

International — Link

General Sir Nicholas Houghton praised French interventions in Africa, warning that the UK displayed a “creeping aversion to risk".

Central African Republic: French troops expand operations

International — Link

Intervention of 1,600 French troops comes as President Hollande calls for setting up of African rapid deployment force 'within months'.

Hollande honours African role in France's WWI fight

International — Link

As France launches commemorations for next year's hundredth anniversary of WWI, President Hollande says that no soldier should be 'forgotten'.

Europe, a destination to die for - for African migrants

International

Clément, a young man from Cameroon, was simply seeking a better life in Europe. But in March, while trying to cross from Morocco into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, witnesses say he was so badly beaten by law enforcement officers that he died of his injuries. An Italian documentary producer was there just after his ordeal and filmed his final hours. Carine Fouteau reports on the continuing scandal of the way migrants are treated at the gateway to Europe.

Hollande spells out France’s African, Middle Eastern policy

International — Link

French president says he is confident that operations in Mali have been successful, and outlines his desire for political solution to Syrian crisis.

French president's 'blinkered and lonely' war in Mali

International — Analysis

President François Hollande has just become involved in a large-scale war in Mali. Already some 800 French troops are on the ground in the African country, with the number expected to increase to 2,500 in the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile French aircraft have been carrying out strikes across the country. President Hollande sent in the troops last Friday, January 11th, after Mali's interim president made an urgent plea for help as Islamic rebels headed towards the country's capital. However, argues Mediapart's editor François Bonnet, the intervention has taken place in an impromptu manner, with shifting objectives, an unclear timetable and after having deliberately ignored the complex processes of political negotiations. As a result, he says, France finds itself alone without its European allies in a country that has completely fallen apart.

The riddle of how French nuclear giant Areva blew 2 bln euros in mining meltdown

France — Investigation

When French publicly-owned nuclear giant Areva bought Canadian mining company UraMin in 2007, it boasted of having secured major uranium deposits in Africa. But five years on, no uranium has ever been mined there, and Areva has had to write off nearly 2 billion euros in its accounts. Here, Martine Orange investigates the roots of the fiasco and attempts to cover up what promises to become a major industrial scandal, along with the intrigue surrounding the company's sacked and furious CEO Anne Lauvergeon (pictured).

'Monsieur Africa' details '20m-euro gifts' from despots to Chirac and Villepin

International — Investigation

For decades he has enjoyed close personal and professional relations with French-speaking Africa's most prominent leaders, including notorious despots. Robert Bourgi (photo), dubbed ‘Monsieur Afrique' in France, is an advisor and go-between for both the French presidency and African heads of state. He created a political storm in September after publicly accusing his one-time boss, former President Jacques Chirac, along with former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, of receiving millions of euros in secret cash payments from several African leaders. Mediapart has obtained exclusive access to a statement he gave earlier this month to magistrates in which he details the cash payment claims, including an alleged lunchtime gift to Villepin of one million euros by the president of Equatorial Guinea. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

President Sarkozy 'bullied African leaders into deals with billionaire friend Bolloré'

International — Interview

The former head of an international maritime port management company has accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of bullying African governments into entering into contracts with the Groupe Bolloré, headed by the president's close friend Vincent Bolloré. In an exclusive interview with Mediapart, Jacques Dupuydauby (photo), who recently retired as chairman of Franco-Spanish group Progosa, says French-speaking West African leaders personally told him how President Sarkozy threatened them with a withdrawal of French support unless they agreed to hand lucrative port management concessions to the Groupe Bolloré. He describes the French president as Bolloré's "high-class travelling salesman", adding: "Under Sarkozy, the message is ‘If you don't do what we ask in giving such and such a thing to Bolloré, you will no longer be able to count on France's support'"

The cosy relations between France and Africa

International — Link

Allegations that African presidents secretly paid French politicians is of little surprise to observers of France's relationships south of the Sahara.

African leaders sent briefcases full of cash to Chirac, lawyer says

International — Link

A lawyer claimed he secretly delivered cash from African leaders to ex- president Jacques Chirac and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin.

Africa's Soccer Impostors (Slate)

International — Link