Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

Africa

French soldier wounded in Mali as foreign minister visits

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-05-29

A French soldier was wounded in northern Mali on Tuesday when a lone gunman attacked an army patrol in the rebel-controlled city of Kidal. The attack came as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with the country’s interim government.

A French soldier was lightly wounded when an unidentified gunman opened fire on a French military patrol Tuesday in the troubled Malian city of Kidal, the last major city in the country’s north which remains under the de facto control of a rebel group, despite the presence of French special forces at a base nearby, officials said.

The attack comes as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met with Mali’s interim government in the capital, Bamako, where he praised them for having set a July 28 date for the much-anticipated presidential election. The government announced the date in an official communique Monday, making no mention of how the election will be held in places like Kidal, which is controlled by the rebel National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, a Tuareg separatist group which has threatened to attack if Mali’s military attempts to approach the town.

French military spokesman Col. Thierry Burkhard said that the soldier was “lightly injured” during the shooting. He said that it was not immediately clear who had shot him. The Deputy Mayor of Kidal Abda Kazina said that the incident occurred after 3pm on Tuesday in the Aliou neighborhood of Kidal, and that the shooter had not yet been identified or apprehended.

Fabius said he was optimistic about the date, and said he was confident that the various logistical challenges can be answered before the poll.

Besides the fact that Kidal remains out of government control, hundreds of thousands of Malians are living in refugee camps in the neighboring nations of Mauritania, Algeria, Burkina Faso and Niger. It’s unclear what accommodations, if any, will be made for them to vote.

France is pushing Mali to hold the election, in the hopes that the transition of power will pave the way for French forces to leave Mali. France intervened militarily in January in order to stem the advance of al-Qaida-linked rebel groups, who had seized a Texas-sized chunk of territory last year.

“Mali’s flag will be planted in Kidal. The governor will be in Kidal,” Fabius promised during his stop in Bamako. “In terms of the election, things are at an advanced stage. In terms of dialogue, things are moving along. In terms of security things are moving along. I think that we are on the right path.”

He added that an accord had been put in place with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee which will allow Malian refugees to vote inside refugee camps. He also said that negotiations are now taking place between the NMLA and the Islamic Movement for Azawad, a second rebel group in Kidal. The various sides are meeting with mediators in neighboring Burkina Faso.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-05-29

  • MALI

    Mali to hold presidential vote on July 28

    Read more

  • MALI

    Donors' conference pledges €3.25 billion for Mali

    Read more

  • MALI

    Mali needs more than 11,000 peacekeepers, UN says

    Read more

COMMENT(S)