Gilles Le Guen, arrested in Mali by French troops, is the first to be convicted under a 2012 law allowing prosecution for waging Jihad abroad.
Gilles Le Guen, 60, faces ten years in jail for allegedly collaborating with Al-Qaeda’s branch in Mali, where he was captured in 2013.
When French troops intervened in Mali in early 2013 the aim was to shore up a faltering regime and help bring stability and strong government to the former colony. Instead just over two years later the African nation seems on the edge of a political catastrophe. There has been a growing number of attacks and armed clashes in the country and the United Nations mission that replaced the French military operation has suffered heavy casualties. Meanwhile there has been little or no political progress domestically as everyone waits for the signature of a peace agreement which will result in a de facto partition of the country. Thomas Cantaloube reports.
Mali, French and UN troops face attacks similar to those employed by Islamist militant movements Boko Haram in Nigeria and Somalia’s al-Shabaab.
Sjaak Rijke, a Dutch train conductor kidnapped from a Timbuktu restaurant in November 2011, was freed in a dawn raid by French troops.
Two US experts argue France is only big NATO power in Europe with military capability and political will to tackle threats to Atlantic Alliance.
Also gunned down in the attack on a restaurant in the capital Bamako was a Belgian security officer with the EU delegation in Mali.
Since the retreat of jihadist forces from northern Mali, and the winding down this year of the French military campaign that forced them out of the area, drugs trafficking has regained its lucrative path across the Sahel region, en route to Europe. Thomas Cantaloube reports from Mali on how the drugs trade has become a major cause of corruption in both the former French colony and the wider region of West Africa, where the transit of drugs is now joined by a dangerous and growing new phenomena, that of drug consumption.
A Malian government spokesman said four men were freed in exchange for the release of Serge Lazarevic by al-Qaida's North African branch.
Eighteen months ago Mediapart reported from Mali on its attempts to rebuild itself after France's military intervention to thwart an imminent terrorist takeover. At the time there was cautious optimism within the fractured African country that it could construct a more positive future. Now Mediapart has returned to Mali and the mood is very different. The cautious hopes about the future have largely given way to frustration amid the return of old-style politics and corruption. Meanwhile the country remains under the effective control of international institutions and foreign countries. As Thomas Cantaloube reports from the capital Bamako, the lack of real progress in Mali also symbolises a French vision of foreign affairs that is strong on military intervention but short on political content.
Ahmed al-Tilemsi was a commander of the al-Mourabitoun Islamist group and took part in the 2011 kidnapping of French nationals.
Disquiet in Mali that French hostage Serge Lazarevic was freed in exchange for release of a notorious Malian 'terrorist'.
Release of Serge Lazarevic after being held by Islamists for three years means there are now no more French hostages anywhere in world.
The operation in the Kidal region, which cost the life of one French soldier, weakened terrorist networks in north of the country, says army.
Broadcasters who employed the reporters, who were killed doing their job, launch campaign for end to impunity for crimes against journalists.