Today 05 December
France will not play Africa's policeman and sort out a territorial dispute in Mali, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday, a day after Mali's president and Tuareg separatist rebels both criticized Paris for doing too little. After winning adulation across its former colony for a 5-month military offensive earlier this year that scattered al Qaeda fighters, France is caught in a tug of war between the government in Bamako and Tuareg MNLA rebels in the north, who are demanding some form of autonomy. Now it's up to Malians, and particularly President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, to act," Fabius told RMC radio. "France doesn't support any group, but it's normal that territorial integrity is restored.
Ethiopia has repatriated over 100,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia, Addis Ababa's foreign ministry said Thursday, following a violent crackdown against illegal immigrants in the oil-rich kingdom. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said that up to 50,000 more citizens are still expected to come home. "Last night arrivals from Saudi reached 100,620," Tedros said in a statement, adding that "all citizens that were detained in Riyadh deportation camps are back".
By Patrick Markey TRIPOLI (Reuters) - On a dusty parade ground outside Tripoli, young recruits march and bark out slogans for the new Libyan army that Western powers hope can turn the tide on militias threatening to engulf the North African country in anarchy. Their boots are new and their fatigues pressed, but Libya's army recruits will need more than drills to take on the hardened militiamen, Islamist fighters and political rivalries testing their OPEC nation's stability. Two years after NATO missiles helped rebels drive out Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is under siege from former rebel fighters who now flex their military muscle to make demands on the state, seize oilfields and squabble over post-war spoils. With Libya's army still in the making, Western powers are keen to halt chaos in the key European oil supplier and stop illicit arms spilling across North Africa.
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - Vigilantes hacked 12 civilians to death north of Bangui as communal tensions rose ahead of a UN vote authorising force to stop the Central African Republic's descent into chaos. On the eve of the expected adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution giving French and African troops the go-ahead, a military source said Wednesday that Christian militiamen had attacked Muslim herders. "Among the victims were children and a disembowelled pregnant woman," the source told AFP, adding that at least 10 other children were hospitalised in Bangui with deep gashes. We've never seen anything like this in Central Africa before."
The draft anti-prostitution law was approved by the lower-house National Assembly with 268 deputies voting in favour, 138 voting against and 79 abstaining. It was sponsored by women's rights minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who hailed Wednesday's vote as "the end of a long road strewn with pitfalls". "France has placed itself at the side of those who prostitute themselves, against those who take advantage of their vulnerability," campaign group the Mouvement du Nid said in a statement. Critics, who include some of France's most prominent celebrities, say the legislation will simply push prostitution further underground and make the women who earn their living from it more vulnerable to abuse.