Keyword: Central African Republic
More than 50 years after granting its colonial empire independence, it seems Paris cannot keep its nose out of Africa, argues Newsweek's Brian Eads.
The French government last week announced major cuts in defence spending which include the axing next year of 7,500 jobs in its armed forces, the subsequent closure of several military bases, the scrapping of an artillery regiment and the decommissioning of several warships. "The sovereignty of our country depends as much on tackling our public accounts as on our defence," said defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as he detailed the cull on October 15th. But the minister is also under intense pressure over the massive, budget-busting spending of ongoing French military operations abroad, principally in West and Central Africa, and now also against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Lénaïg Bredoux reports on the opaque funding of the campaigns, including the indirect contribution of the French education ministry, and Le Drian’s controversial and urgent plans to set up public-private partnerships to finance French defence procurement through leasing deals.
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Nothing has gone to plan in the two military campaigns launched last year by French President François Hollande in Mali and the Central African Republic. In-depth reports by the United Nations, the French parliament and various NGOs detail the huge and quite different problems now faced in both countries, which have resulted in the French army becoming bogged down in its war-torn former colonies. Paris has now announced a new "counter-terrorist" offensive, this time against jihadist groups in the Sahel region of Northern Africa. As Hollande prepares to visit three African countries this week to discuss the move, Mediapart's editor François Bonnet analyses how France has lost its way amid missions that were initially presented as short-term and which now promise the long haul with no exit in sight.
Camille Lepage, 26, who had spent months documenting the conflict in Central African Republic, died in a village near the town of Bouar.
French foreign ministry says that the priority is to save lives despite concerns it could lead to the division of the Central African Republic.
French defence and foreign ministers 'strongly' urge EU members to do more, saying military contributions so far 'fall short' of what is needed.
Website has launched a poster campaign called 'We will not be silent, O France' over French intervention in Mali and the Central Africa Republic.
On a visit to the Central African Republic, the French president pledged strong military support to avoid a break-up of the strife-torn country.
Jean-Yves Le Drian starts a tour of the region to discuss the crisis in Central African republic (CAR) as fresh wave of violence erupts.
Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says UN will probably have to extend France's military mandate in the country when it expires in May.
French and African peacekeepers are struggling to contain inter-religious violence in the strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR), where Christian militias are increasingly exacting revenge after the fall from power of the Muslim Séléka coalition which had ruled the former French colony since last March. “If the current violence continues, it’s possible that there will soon be no more Muslims left in CAR,” warned a senior director of NGO Human Rights Watch. Thomas Cantaloube reports.
France’s ambassador to the UN said his country 'did not foresee such deep, ingrained hatred' between Christians and Muslims in CAR.
In visit to capital Bangui, defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian insists French mission in Central African Republic will be a success 'like Mali'.
The Chadian troops were ambushed in the CAR capital Bangui, where heavy firefights prompted French forces to deploy tanks near the airport.