Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Africa News .




AFRICA NEWS
French troops go from heroes to villains in Central Africa
by Staff Writers
Bangui, Central African Republic (AFP) June 05, 2014


Army officer, foe of 2012 coup, abducted in Mali: family
Bamako (AFP) June 05, 2014 - Men in army uniform overnight abducted an army officer who was opposed to a successful military coup in Mali two years ago, his family said Thursday.

"This was a trap laid for my son, Lieutenant Mohamed Ouattara," retired colonel Yaya Ouattara told AFP. "He was kidnapped during the night... by armed individuals wearing military uniform."

Another family member said he was seized by five armed men.

"They led my brother to the foot of a hill before kidnapping him," he said.

A defence ministry official said an inquiry would be opened "very rapidly" into the suspected abduction of Ouattara, who serves in the paratroop corps known as the "Red Berets".

After a military junta seized power in the largely desert west African nation in March 2012, several dozen Red Berets who had supported ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure were seized. Many have since vanished.

The coup led by Amadou Sanogo toppled what had been heralded as one of the region's most stable democracies and precipitated the fall of northern Mali to Al-Qaeda-linked groups until a French-led military operation forced them out of the towns.

Sanogo was arrested in November 2013 after handing over power to a transitional regime in a deal brokered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He was last year charged and jailed with a score of his aides for "complicity in kidnapping, kidnapping and murders" in the matter of the Red Beret paratroopers.

Since December, almost 30 bodies suspected to be those of missing soldiers have been found in ditches near Kati, a garrison town outside Bamako, where Sanogo had set up his headquarters.

During their rule, Sanogo and his allies were also accused of violence against politicians, journalists and prominent members of civil society.

Six months after being welcomed as saviours in the Central African Republic, the 2,000 French soldiers in the country face growing hostility from a population accusing them of failing to curb interfaith violence.

France launched Operation Sangaris in its former colony in December to stop the violence that exploded after a March 2013 coup by the mainly Muslim rebels of the Seleka alliance in the majority-Christian country.

Civilians cheered the arrival of the French troops after enduring massacres by rogue Seleka fighters and then revenge killings targeting Muslim civilians that left the streets of the capital Bangui strewn with corpses.

But six months on, the landlocked African nation remains the scene of deadly clashes and its people are turning against their former heroes for failing to disarm rival sides.

Hostility towards the soldiers has been brewing for weeks in the former French colony. It peaked on May 28 when 17 people were massacred at a Bangui church and 27 were abducted, according to the United Nations, with no intervention by peacekeeping forces.

French troops were booed by residents over the weekend in Miskine, a Christian neighbourhood of Bangui near a Muslim one. In Muslim districts chants of "No to France!" and anti-French insults are now commonly heard.

"When they arrived, we had hope that they were going to disarm the country," said Noel Ngoulo, secretary general of Bangui University.

"But as time has gone on, the population noticed that the disarmament was delayed. People are angry at the French because they have the impression that the mission objective has changed, from a mission of disarmament to one of simple intervention."

- 'Manipulation by radicals' -

Following a first phase of operations in Bangui, French forces secured the route linking the capital to the Cameroonian border, which is an essential supply corridor. In the east, they now operate in Bambari region, a "friction zone" where ex-Seleka members have set up a new general staff headquarters.

French special forces have been operational for the past few days in northern territory controlled by Seleka fighters from the flashpoint town of Ndele.

The French soldiers have tried to ensure their neutrality amid the near total exodus of the Muslim population from Bangui and other main towns, but Christian and Muslim militias each accuse France of aiding the other side.

In the Muslim neighbourhood of PK-5 in Bangui, "when the French arrived there was fear," said Oumarou, a physics professor, arguing that the military presence provoked "the anti-balaka ... to launch attacks."

French military spokesman Gilles Jaron blamed rising anti-French sentiment on "manipulation by radical elements who want to turn the population against French soldiers."

General Dominique Trinquand, a former head of France's military mission to the United Nations, said that the "asymmetrical nature of combat" made the task of peacekeepers "very difficult", since roving gangs armed with machetes were up against troops in armoured vehicles.

Apart from sporadic peaks of violence, "we reached a certain level of use for military force," Jaron declared. "Now we have to establish the economic and political foundations" in a country with a barely functioning state and a ruined economy.

.


Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





AFRICA NEWS
Malawi's president seeks 'new friends' in China, Russia
Blantyre, Malawi (AFP) June 02, 2014
Malawi, traditionally dependent on Western aid donors, will look for "new friends" in countries such as China and Russia, newly elected President Peter Mutharika said at his inauguration Monday. The ceremony at a stadium in the commercial capital Blantyre was boycotted by outgoing president Joyce Banda, who was soundly beaten by Mutharika in disputed elections held on May 20. Mutharika, ... read more


AFRICA NEWS
Satellites improving lives in rural Africa

Blunting rice disease

Chinese wines struggle to uncork overseas sales

Drop in global malnutrition depends on ag productivity, climate change

AFRICA NEWS
Britain's urban rivers cleanest in 20 years

Rolling old river is indeed changing

Manitoba stops zebra mussel invasion with fertilizer

Oceans worth up to $222 bln annually in CO2 capture

AFRICA NEWS
EU steps up call for pre-2020 action at climate talks

EU greenhouse emissions fall more than expected: new data

Decomposing logs show local factors undervalued in climate predictions

Study links urbanization and future heat-related mortality

AFRICA NEWS
Renewable Energy Target Not The Power Price Villain

Obama plans power plant rules in bold climate push

Ukraine: The Real Energy Crisis Starts in June

Carbon plan still leaves US short of UN pledge: study

AFRICA NEWS
Transforming hydrogen into liquid fuel using atmospheric CO2

Researchers create microbes for direct conversion of biomass to fuel

Microalgae Capable Of Assimilating The Ammonium From Agri-Food Waste

Green and yellow - straw from oilseed as a new source of biofuels

AFRICA NEWS
The 'Sherlock Holmes' of Himalayan mountaineering

Students suffer in Philippine typhoon zone as schools open

Japan starts building underground ice wall at Fukushima

Italy navy picks up 3,000 boat migrants in 24 hours

AFRICA NEWS
Less than 5 percent of Chinese cities meeting air quality standards

New pollution rules will reduce asthma, heart attacks: Obama

Cutting Carbon Emissions Reduces Everyday Air Pollution

Sweden to sue EU for delay on hormone disrupting chemicals

AFRICA NEWS
Japan's new business lobby chief pledges better China ties

Bangladesh to seek Chinese help to build deep sea port

25 years on, world happy to do business with Beijing's 'butchers'

China fines foreign eyewear makers; Tesco Completes JV Deal




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.