The Beninese artist Angélique Kidjo sang in memory of the colonial troops, during a grand Armistice commemoration ceremony in Paris a few days after the homage paid by Emmanuel Macron and the Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in Reims to the 200,000 soldiers of the “black force” engaged in the First World War.
Taking place in rain at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, the moving ceremony was opened by “Sarabande” of Bach interpreted by the American cellist Yo-Yo Ma and concluded by the Ravel bolero played by the youth orchestra of the European Union.
In front of a crowd of leaders gathered under a tent, high school students read, in different languages, testimonies of the fighters of the “Great War” which mobilized 70 million soldiers, made 10 million dead and 20 million wounded among the combatants.
On November, 7 President Macron honoured the fromer colonial troops who fought alongside the French with Mali‘s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Reims, a city defended by the African soldiers.
This week the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini attended the International Conference on Libya organised in Paris, the event aims to support the United Nations ongoing work to forge a lasting solution to the crisis in Libya and implement the UN action plan.
The European Union continues to encourage and accompany the political process in Libya under the lead provided by the United Nations, including within the Libya Quartet together with the African Union and the League of Arab States.
The diplomat had a number of bilateral meetings in the margins of the conference. In the afternoon, the same day Mogherini addressed the situation in Libya at the plenary meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Paris meeting, included eastern Libya leader Marechal Khalifa Haftar, backed by Tobruk Parliament; Tripoli Prime minister Fayez el-Sarraj, backed by the UN, and the leaders of rival parliamentary assemblies, aimed to urge them to agree general principles for ending the conflict and moving towards elections.
Although there were signatures, the conference was concluded by a statement, fixing elections on December, 10, however there should be a legal framework adopted mid-September.
“The parties have committed to set the constitutional basis for elections and adopt the necessary electoral laws by September 16, 2018 and hold Parliamentary and Presidential elections on December 10, 2018,” the statement said.
Libyan military leader Marshall Khalifa Haftar has been treated in a hospital in Paris, a French source confirming earlier reports from Libyan officials and media.
Haftar, 75, is the dominant figure in eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) and has long been seen as a likely contender to unite the country. As commander the Libyan National Army (LNA), a force aligned with a government based in the east which has opposed a rival, internationally backed government in the capital, Tripoli.
The French source declined to comment on Haftar’s condition. At present there are conflicting reports in mass and social media: according to some reports in Arab media, Haftar suffered a stroke and was transported to Paris for an urgent treatment, the others went as far, as declaring him clinically dead:
However in parallel the other information about him being active also started to circulate.
The spokesperson of Libyan Army said Haftar is in good health.
News of the tiger’s escape came after Paris’ public transport authority, RATP, briefly closed down a tramline in the 15th arrondissement, according to France Info – the public radio that broke the news.
Two eyewitnesses told the radio station said they saw the tiger descend onto the tracks.
“At first, we thought it was a technical incident,” said Thomas, a passenger of tramway 3a. “Then the driver told us it was a tiger. Naturally, we wondered what was going on. We were able to leave 15 to 20 minutes later.”
In the meantime, armed police and circus staff had rushed to the scene. At least two shots were reportedly heard.
Reportedly there were no attempts to put the animal to sleep, and evacuate, but just right forward killing was a chosen option. The heartless reaction of the authorities killing the magestic animal damages even further already plagued by misfortunes reputation of the city, losing its image of a dream touristic destination.
Brigitte Bardot Foundation and animal defenders across Europe were indignant about the accident, blaming Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo indifference to animal suffering in circuses. Some witnesses from neighbourhood also claimed they saw the three tigers jammed in a small cage of a few square meters “in misery”:
The growing protest about barbaric torture of animals in circus for fun of the least cultivated audiences, forced many big cities to ban use of wild and exotic animals in entertainment. Paris is clearly lagging behind the progressive and humanistic world trends – one year ago Iran prohibited animal circus.
“Our friends in Africa have long told us “the cause is poverty” – said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini, addressing Paris ‘mini-summit’ on mass migration.
“… We do not need to invent a new Marshall Plan, we already have a European plan that is in the field, which is in action and that certainly can be used by all Europeans, by all Africans in an even more effective way” – Mogherini continued.
“In the coming days, we will also launch a private investment plan supported by the European Commission, which will be able to mobilize up to € 44 billion in private investment in Africa for economic development. € 2 billion of projects related to the immigration sector have already been approved and are being implemented under the Trust Fund which was created at the top of Valletta, of which € 1 billion is for the Sahel countries alone. € 100 million from the European Union to fund the centers of the International Migration Organization in 14 African countries including Nigeria, Chad and Libya”
The European Union and the EU Member States together invest € 20 billion a year in Africa in a number of areas, from development cooperation, private investment, humanitarian, to work on peace and security.
Poachers have broken into a zoo near Paris and shot a rhinoceros dead before stealing his hugely valuable ivory horn.
In the first case of its kind ever in Europe, the five-year-old animal, named Vince, was found dead in Thoiry, west of the French capital.
According to police the zoo raid happened late last night, and it was not until 9am today that zookeepers made the horrifying discovery.
A source speaking to Le Parisien newspaper said “the animal had been shot with three bullets to the head, and his horn was cut off with a chainsaw”.
Poachers killed 1,054 South African rhinos for their horns in 2016, a 10 percent dip on a year earlier, the environment ministry said Monday, as officials struggle to quell the slaughter.