Stories about French from January, 2013
Why Did Mali's ‘Soldier of Death’ Go Viral?
This photo of a French soldier wearing a scarf depicting death's face has been shared around the world and has become a concrete symbol for many of the start of French military operations in Mali. But why has this soldier captured imaginations on the Web?
Spain: Catalonia's “Declaration of Sovereignty” Translated into 36 Languages
On January 23, 2013, amid rising tensions with the Spanish government, the regional parliament of Catalonia approved by majority vote a Declaration of Sovereignty [ca] — seen widely as a prelude to a referendum on independence, expected to be held by 2014. Thanks to a diverse team of collaborators, the online...
Central African Republic: How Strong Is The Peace Deal?
After a month of political and military instability, the Central African Republic government, led by President François Bozizé, and the rebel coalition Séléka signed a new peace deal in Libreville on January 11, 2013.
France: NGOs Condemn Privatisation of Public Domain
Seven European free culture associations issued a statement [fr] protesting against a public-private partnership between the French National Library BNF and Proquest database [fr], whose aim is to digitize a large amount of Public Domain works and privatize them with an exclusivity period of commercialization of ten years. Activist Philippe...
Côte d'Ivoire: Charles Blé Goudé Charged with War Crimes
After his arrest in Ghana, Charles Blé Goudé, nicknamed ‘Street General’ and close associate of former president Laurent Gbagbo, was charged with war crimes on January 21, 2013. His arrest caused great debate in the Ivorian blogosphere as it happened against a backdrop of national reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire.
“How Are You in Bamako ?” A Conversation with Awa in Mali
Anne Morin and Awa Traoré exchange on daily life in Bamako, fragile wages, cost of living and political uncertainty as the war rages on in the country.
Blame Jihadis Financial Incentives, not Gaddafi's Fall, for Troubles in Mali
Jihadis venture capitalism extended to an even more lucrative business: kidnapping western hostages all over the Sahara yielded over 90 Million Euros over a decade [..] The modus operandi was very simple: why get killed trying to create an Islamist emirate in “apostate-ruled” neighboring countries when you can build your...
Rajoelina Steps Aside for Madagascar's Presidential Race
With interim president Rajoelina announcing that he withdraws from a bid to run for the presidential elections following a similar announcement by former President Ravalomanana in December 2012, Malagasy people are likely to have a new president in 2013, provided that elections take place as planned in the electoral agenda. Many of the observers are skeptical about the elections timeline in light of the statements of Rajoelina after his announcement and his wishes to change the electoral agenda.
An African Platform for Open Access Academic Articles
On January 24, the official launch of Hadithi, a platform for hosting open access academic content will take place in Nairobi, Kenya. Various scholars and digital players will get together to discuss digital open access in higher education in Kenya. Hadithi will search, view and download articles from research institutions around the world. To register...
Gabon to Mali: History of French Military Interventions in Africa
The French military intervention in Mali, known as Operation Serval started on January 11 following the advance of terrorists groups towards Bamako. Lauded by a substantial part of the Malian population and many outside observers, the military intervention diverts, however, from the non-interventionist line professed by French President Hollande in Africa.
Bayaka Fighting to Save the Congo Basin Forests
The documentary Ndima (forest in Bayaka Language) depicts the struggle of the Bayaka people to protect the Congo Basin forests and preserve their way of life. An similar initiative, Mapping for Rights, strives to help forest communities in the Republic of Congo to gain legal rights to their lands via...
Petrodollars, Megalomania and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea launched a charm offensive in 2011 and 2012 using his petrodollars to target the worlds of showbusiness, sport and international diplomacy. However, following his accession to chairmanship of the African Union, the civil society denounced him for his poor human rights record while the orgy of spending conducted by his son caused widespread revulsion.
Sant'Egidio Community Helps Free Senegalese Hostages
Last December, eight Senegalese prisoners were freed following long negotiations led by the Sant'Egidio community. The hostages were taken by guerrillas who have been fighting for independence in Casamance, Senegal's most southern region, since 1982.
2012: A Year of Revolt and Social Change in Francophone Countries: Part 2
This second part of our 2012 review in the Francophone world features civil rebellion and governance problems in Togo, Chad and Madagascar, citizen initiatives in Senegal, fight for more transparency in public affairs in Cameroon and ongoing debates on social issues in France.
Homophobic Hashtag Makes Waves on Twitter in France
The hashtag #SiMonFilsEstGay made waves on Twitter on December 22, 2012, in the French twittersphere. The hashtag is basically a homophobic incitement to violence accompanied by some poor taste "humorous" tweets. The alleged jokes consisted of telling other Twitter users the punishment you would give your son if he turned out to be gay. Some posts expressed a disturbing penchant for violence.
Togo: An Open Letter to Denounce Violence Against Journalists
On January 14, 2013, Maxime Domegni, Secretary General of the National Union of Independent Journalist of Togo (SYNJIT) and Sylvio Combey Combetey, President of the Network of African Journalists on Human Security and Peace (RAJOSEP) published [fr] a press release to denounce violence against journalists in Togo. The release details a skirmish...
Kony's LRA Kills Villagers in Yalinga, Central African Republic
While the Central African Republic awaits a new prime minister [fr] after the peace talks in Libreville, the army reports that Joseph Kony and the Lord Resistance Army LRA have killed three people [fr] near the village of Yalinga. The reports adds that a 12 year old girl was also kidnapped by the rebels.
Protesters Trap QMM Staff in Madagascar over Land Dispute
Bill at Madagascar Tribune reports that protesters held Rio Tinto QMM Staff hostages [fr] on January 11 in Southern Madagascar. After armed forces disrupted the protests with tear gas and freed the staff, police proceed to arrest a dozen of protesters [fr] today. Rio Tinto executives threatened to exit the country after the...
Tuareg Families Regroup to Avoid Airstrikes in Northern Mali
We must regroup so that airplanes can tell us apart from the targeted ismalists fighters who will be on the move. Tuareg refugees in Borj and Timeaouine in Northern Mali are hurrying to gather around their family members in order to avoid airstrikes by French planes against islamist groups, Tamoudre reports...
2012: A Year of Revolt and Social Change in Francophone Countries: Part 1 of 2
The year 2012 was marked by armed conflicts in Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. There were elections in Senegal, Quebec and France, while demonstrations for change took place in Chad, Madagascar and Togo. Debates raged on issues such as immigration, the economic crisis and equality in marriage laws. This is the first part of a review of the year 2012 in Francophone countries.
Journalist Killed During Ceasefire Talks in Central African Republic
The network of Human Rights Reporters in Central African Republic reports that journalist for the Radio Bé-oko Elisabeth Olofio was killed [fr] when Sékéla rebels entered the town of Bambari, CAR on January 7. A ceasefire agreement was signed [fr] between the rebels and the Bozizé government today (January 11)...