The women and children were brought back to France from Kurd-controlled camps in Syria where they had been interned after the military collapse of the so-called Isalamic State group in the region, and follows a similar mission in July.
The 16 women, aged 22 to 39, and 35 minors arrived in France on Tuesday from several camps in north-east Syria where they were interned following the territorial defeat of the so-called Islamic State group in 2019.
A group of 12 children of deceased French jihadists was flown home on Monday from north-east Syria where they were held by Kurdish forces, the latest step in efforts to resolve the problem posed by the huge numbers of foreign jihadists and their families stranded in Syrian camps after the military defeat of the so-called Islamic State group.
The grandparents of a three-year-old boy and his sister aged four, who were wounded and captured with their French mother after the fall of the Islamic State stronghold of Baghouz and who are currently stranded in a detention camp in north-east Syria, have begun legal action against the French state before the European Court of Human Rights for refusing to repatriate the three.
France has announced the repatriation of five children aged up to five years who were placed in internement camps in Syria after their French parents, who had joined the Islamic State group, are reported to have died or gone missing in fighting, and thanked Kurdish-led forces 'for their cooperation, which made this outcome possible'.
Speaking during a recent debate with local councillors President Emmanuel Macron insisted: “No programme for a return of jihadists has today been drawn up.” Yet, as Mediapart can reveal, officials at the ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Justice have in fact been working since the autumn of 2018 on plans for the return of French jihadists held by Kurds in Syria. Matthieu Suc reports on the French government's change of heart.
Following Algeria's independence from France in 1962 around 800,000 Algerians of French descent, known as 'Pieds-Noirs', resettled in mainland France, many of them in the south of the country. It has long been assumed that the presence of so many of these repatriated settlers was a major factor in the political rise of the far-right Front National in the Mediterranean region of France. But as Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports, the supposed influence of this ageing group of voters may largely be a myth.
The French government found itself on Wednesday the target of a storm of protests over the arrest and repatriation to Kosovo last week of a 15 year-old Roma girl who was taken into custody by police in front of her schoolmates after her family’s application for asylum in France was rejected. The heavy-handed arrest of Léonarda Dibrani, which was first revealed in a blogpost on Mediapart, has split opinion both among the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party and within the government itself, with education minister Vincent Peillon calling for a ban on the arrests of pupils during school activity. The controversy comes as interior minister Manuel Valls leads a high-profile, hardline campaign targeting Roma immigrants who he has claimed are not apt to integrate into French society. Interviewed by Mathieu Magnaudeix, Socialist MP Sandrine Mazetier, vice-president of the National Assembly and head of her party’s immigration affairs department, strongly denounces the treatment handed out to Léonarda Dibrani, and demands that sanctions be taken against the police prefect responsible for ordering her arrest in an act of “political provocation”.