“Africa has fallen prey to terrorism and the barbaric attack in Nairobi confirms this,” Hollande said, referring to the standoff between Kenyan troops and extremists of the Somali Shabab militia that began Saturday. But as the French-led intervention to drive Muslim extremists out of Mali earlier this year showed, “victories are possible against terrorism,” Hollande said. France, fearing the militants plan to use impoverished African states as springboards for European terrorist attacks, launched airstrikes and sent in troops and armored vehicles in January to drive out the Al Qaeda-aligned gunmen. Although numbering only a few hundred, the militants seized the northern half of Mali and imposed a harsh form of Islamic law, beating women who failed to veil themselves and smashing historic tombs, shrines and libraries as vestiges of idolatry and an offense to Islam. The fundamentalist invaders fled the remote northern territory within weeks of the French intervention, but lingering extremists still carry out occasional suicide attacks on cities where the elected government in Bamako maintains only tenuous influence. Hollande last year used his appearance at the General Assembly to call for concerted efforts to rescue Mali. “Now, I would like to sound the alarm for the Central African Republic. It is a small country but one ravaged by coups d’etat and conflicts. Chaos has taken root, and the civilian populations are the victims of it,” Hollande said. He said France would convene an international conference by the end of the year to muster funding and expertise for training and equipping professional armies for vulnerable African states, so that they can ward off Mali-like invasions. “We cannot leave them alone, faced with this terrorist threat,” Hollande said in appealing to European and other countries to join his initiative to enhance Africa’s defenses. “Everywhere chaos reigns, terrorism takes root and grows,” Hollande warned. “This is why the international community must assist African states to protect themselves.” The French intervention in Mali was backed by a contingent from the Economic Community of West African States , but the poorly armed troops from a region rife with instability and rebellion are not seen as capable of putting down extremist threats on their own.
Air France-KLM defers decision on help for Alitalia
20) In response to the opinion article by Robert Leckey and Robert Wintemute, I would like to add the following reasons why France is not a model for Quebec, with respect to preserving its majority culture and protecting minority rights. French Quebecers are not native to this province but took Quebec by force from Canadaas First Nations. In turn, the British took Quebec by force and then granted independence to Canada through political negotiation. In this respect, the majority of Quebecers are immigrants, French, English and others. By contrast, the French have lived in France since recorded history and can insist that immigrants abide by their majority culture. Certainly, the QuAbAcois are one of Canadaas founding nations and a distinct society, and this is reflected in Canadian law and practice. However, Quebec is not a sovereign nation, but a province in Canada and is still bound by Canadian law and norms. France is a sovereign nation and can pursue its national policy without negotiation with other governments. Anglophones and allophones, especially in Montreal, have contributed significantly to Quebecas economic development and should have corresponding input to Quebec society. By contrast, France was primarily developed by its native people. France is not a paragon of virtue in dealing with minorities and has experienced a number of race riots.
Terrorism ravaging Africa but can be defeated, France’s Hollande says
While Rome is pushing for extra investment, it could be a hard sell with the Franco-Dutch firm’s shareholders and workers, as it cuts costs and jobs in a bid to bring down its own debts. But the company is also seen as keen to protect the value of its existing investment while maintaining access to Europe’s fourth-largest travel market. POLITICALLY SENSITIVE Alitalia has cut costs aggressively in recent years, but remains severely hampered by low-cost competition in its European markets, poor demand on its domestic routes due to Italy’s debt crisis and the rise of high-speed trains, as well as a lack of capital to invest in long-haul fleets. Earlier this year, Air France-KLM provided its share of a 150 million euro shareholder loan to keep Alitalia afloat. Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac pledged in July not to put up more money without tough conditions. The decision is also politically sensitive as Air France, 19 percent owned by the French state, announced 2,800 further job cuts last week, prompting a call for strikes. Before the board talks, a union source briefed on the discussions said: “In the past few weeks, the management of Air France-KLM have been more open towards an increase in the stake rather than just taking part in a capital increase.” A banking source, however, said an increase in the stake was the least likely option. Others said the management of the Dutch side of the operation, which merged with Air France to create Air France-KLM in 2004, was particularly reluctant to back it. “It is impossible in the current context,” the source said. “The only question to ask right now is whether Air France-KLM wants to see its stake diluted.” Jitters over the decision pushed Air France-KLM shares down to close 1.2 percent lower at 6.9 euros. “Air France-KLM wants to protect its franchise but the priority is to deliver on its plans to reduce debts,” said airlines analyst Stephen Furlong at Davy Research in Dublin.