French school in Mali reopens amid tight security
Closed for almost two months, the French Lycée in the Malian capital of Bamako reopened on Monday. But as clashes between the French army and rebels continue in the country’s north, security at the school remains a concern. France 24 reports.
The French Lycée of Bamako reopened its doors on Monday after an almost two-month hiatus, but remained under tight security as the French-African military offensive continued in Mali.
The school, which counts around one thousand pupils, closed on January 14, three days after France launched its intervention to rout armed rebels in the country’s desert north.
Parents, some of whom hired expensive tutors during the forced closure, said they were relieved school was back in session.
While classroom routines were back to normal, the building’s periphery was protected with new concrete barriers. Some access roads leading to the school in the Malian capital were also closed to boost the school’s safety.
Nearly half of the pupils in the lycée are French nationals.
"A measure of risk still exists, but with the new security measures we can work in peace,” Giant Pascal, the school’s headmaster, told France 24. “Everyone is happy to be back.”
Nevertheless, around 15 percent of the student body has not returned, as families remain fearful that the school remains a prime target for rebels.