The Cameroonian who keeps beheading statue of French war hero

International — Link

Activist André Blaise Essama, 44, has served time in prison and been fined for his longstanding campaign against colonial statues, notably that in the Cameroonian city of Douala of French wartime hero general Philippe Leclerc, which he says he has decapitated seven times and toppled on 20 occasions, calling for statues to be erected to the country's own national heoes.

African visitors face visa clampdown by French officials


There has been a steep increase in the number of African visitors who have had their visa applications rejected by the French authorities over the last five years. According to applicants and lawyers, requests to visit France regularly get turned down for no good reason. Yet, as Fanny Pigeaud reports, a recent case in Nantes in western France shows that some visa refusals can be overturned by the courts.

Musician rekindles interest in Cameroon independence hero killed by France


Ruben Um Nyobè is a symbolic figure in the story of anti-colonial resistance in Africa. A champion of independence in his native Cameroon, Nyobè was killed by the French army in 1958 after which France and its local allies sought to wipe him from the country's collective memory. In his latest album Cameroon musician Blick Bassy pays homage to Ruben Um Nyobè, his achievements and his personal struggle in an attempt to spark new interest in his life and writings. Fanny Pigeaud reports.

English versus French tensions in Cameroon turn deadly

France — Link

Teachers join strike led by lawyers over official use of French in English-speaking part of the country where ten were killed in demonstrations.

Air France faces probe after jet flies near mountain

France — Link

In early May Boeing 777 pilots diverted to avoid storm clouds but their route took their jetliner towards 13,000-foot Mount Cameroun.

The plight of the Bororo people fleeing carnage in the Central African Republic

Portfolio — 17 photos

More than 100,000 people have fled from the Central African Republic (CAR) to neighbouring Cameroon since the explosion of inter-religious violence in CAR over the past 18 months.The carnage in CAR, a former French colony and majority Christian country, began in earnest after the overthrow by the mostly-Muslim Seleka rebel coalition of the country’s Christian president François Bozizé in March 2013, after which a number of Muslim militias exacted killings and lootings against Christian communities. The inter-religious violence heightened towards the end of 2013, and most notably after the resignation in January this year of Bozizé's successor, Muslim president Michel Djotodia, which saw the retreat back to the north of the country by the Séléka forces, and a resulting campaign of hateful revenge by Christian militias, called the anti-Balakas, against the Muslim population.Since the end of last year, a peace-keeping force of about 2,000 French troops and almost 6,000 soldiers from a pan-African mission, Misca, have been struggling to quell the carnage that has seen tens of thousands of Muslims flee their homes in what Amnesty International has described as a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”. Some have fled to the largely Muslim north of the country, others to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.Of all the refugees from CAR arriving in Cameroon since March 2013, an estimated 97% are Muslim, while the remainder are Christians and animists. Most of the Muslim refugees are Bororo (also called Wodaabe), a people from the Fulani ethnic group. The Bororo, traditionally nomadic cattle herders, have long been the target of violent persecution in CAR. This began in the mid-2000s, mostly the because of jealousy at their relative affluence gained from the large herds they manage, but spiralled over the past 18 months during the savage conflict between Christians and Muslims in the country.Over several years, French photographer Frédéric Noy, who has long specialised in African affairs, has reported on the plight of the Bororo, and Mediapart publishes here a selection of his photos from both 2009, when many were already forced to flee to Cameroon, and in 2014, when the exodus became massive. “The situation in 2009 is like the embers upon which it sufficed to blow to set-off the manhunt led against the Bororos that we witness today in the Central African Republic,” says Noy.A list of links to Mediapart reports on the situation in CAR can be found at the bottom of this page.

Comedian Dieudonné in money laundering probe

France — Link

French detectives suspect controversial comic laundered hundreds of thousands of euros via Africa as showdown looms over his 'banned' show.

Kidnapped French priest freed in Cameroon arrives home

France — Link

French president Francois Hollande personally greets priest and praises his 'courage' during seven weeks captivity in hands of armed group.

Why French intervention may only maintain the Central African Republic's woes

International — Analysis

The Central African Republic (CAR), where French troops are engaged in attempting to restore order amid inter-religious violence and which has long been the scene of political chaos, is governed more by its influential neighbouring states than any true national leadership, writes Mediapart international affairs correspondent Thomas Cantaloube. In this analysis of a complex and seemingly blocked situation for the country’s future, he concludes that the French military intervention is unlikely to remove - and more likely to maintain - the fundamental reasons for the turmoil in CAR.

Boko Haram 'holding kidnapped French priest'

International — Link

Banned Nigerian Islamist group claims it was they who kidnapped Georges Vandenbeusch from his home near Koza in northern Cameroon.

Hollande tells French not to risk lives

International — Link

French president warns citizens living in or travelling to 'high-risk' areas abroad not to do anything that could increase threat of kidnapping.

French priest kidnapped in Cameroon

International — Link

Georges Vandenbeusch, who was seized at Koza about 30km from the Nigerian border, had chosen to remain in the area despite the risks.

French Cameroon hostages 'released after 3M-dollar payment to Islamists'

International — Link

Islamist militant group Boko Haram was paid more than $3m before releasing a French family of seven, according to a Nigerian government report.

French family of seven kidnapped in Cameroon freed

International — Link

France says it paid no ransom for the release of the three adults and four children kidnapped in February, who are reported to be in good health.

France refuses negotiations with 'Boko Haram' hostage-takers

International — Link

French family of seven kidnapped in Cameroon last week appeared in video posted online by captors demanding imprisoned Islamists be freed.