Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Africa

France’s defence minister defends failed rescue operation in Niger

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-01-10

France’s defence minister Alain Juppe (photo) told reporters Sunday that he took responsibility for the failed rescue efforts that culminated in the deaths of two French nationals. He said the decision to deploy forces as difficult but necessary.

French Defence Minister Alain Juppe said Sunday the government took full responsibility for the failed rescue efforts that culminated in the deaths of two kidnapped French nationals in Niger Saturday.

“We had to make this decision... It was a very important decision to make and we made it... and we take full responsibility," Juppé said on French network TF1 late Sunday.

Alain Juppe, who is due to arrive in Niger’s capital Niamey for talks with officials on Monday, said the decision to launch the rescue mission went ahead because doing nothing would pose a “double threat for France”.

“On one hand we risked that that the hostages would be taken to a camp in Sahel by their abductors and on the other, refraining from all action would have signalled to the kidnappers that in the end France doesn't fight terrorism'”, said Juppe.

French nationals Antoine de Léocour and Vincent Delory, 25, were abducted by four armed men in a restaurant in Niger’s capital Niamey on Friday night. De Leocour, an aid worker, was to marry a local woman in one week’s time, and Delory was going to be his best man.

Their bodies were found Saturday at the Niger-Mali border after Niger and French forces were deployed in a rescue attempt. No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and the circumstances of their deaths remain unclear.

“In order to have formal proof we must conclude the judicial enquiry and the coroner’s report with the authorities of Niger. However, it is first and foremost the responsibility of France to get to the bottom of the investigation”, Juppe stated.

Juppe refused to say what effect the deaths would have on France's efforts to secure the release of five other French nationals, kidnapped in September in Niger and believed to be held in neighbouring Mali by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, who claimed responsibility for the kidnappings.

In addition, Prime Minister Francis Fillon is set to meet with French lawmakers over the growing security issue of French citizens abroad.


 

Date created : 2011-01-10

  • NIGER

    French hostages killed during botched rescue mission

    Read more

  • NIGER

    Gunmen seize two French nationals in Niger

    Read more

COMMENT(S)