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French Institute to promote Language in Nigeria

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French Institute to promote Language in Nigeria

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Abuja, March 12, 2019 Mr Benoit Billy, Linguistic Attaché at the French Embassy in Abuja, on Tuesday promised an educational and cultural project to promote the speaking of French Language in Nigeria.

Billy made the promise while speaking at a news conference to commemorate the Francophone Week being organised by the Institute Francais from March 18 to March 23 in Abuja.

The week is to highlight events to mark this year’s International Francophone Day on the theme “the French Language, Connecting for Action” celebrated globally on March 20 of every year.

According to him, this is the world’s biggest event in celebration of the French gastronomy across 150 countries and it will take place here in Nigeria.

“we will have karaoke, talents shows; inter-school sport tournament for pupils of French partnership schools with trips to France for the winners.

“It is not a France event but Francophone; it is not activity between France and Nigeria, rather Francophone’s and Nigerians, to mobilise students, pupils and teachers on French language.

“Although Nigeria is not member of Francophone countries, we believe by establishing French oriented projects, we will encourage people to learn French language and culture.

“We propose a large range of French language and cultural projects, to celebrate the day and encourage the use of the language.

“We will organise activities in declaration of French speaking population, promote respect for the culture and linguistic diversity, to help preserve French and sustain the development,” Billy said.

He said that the International Organisation of Francophone countries, also known as Francophonie, consists 88 member states and governments.

He also said that the organisation accounted for population of 300 million French speakers globally and it’s numerous values globally.

He said that activities to mark the day would feature movie screening, talk shows in French language and live music.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the activities scheduled to take place at the French Institute in Abuja would feature cooking traditions and practices from France.

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Head of Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb killed in Mali by French forces: minister

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The Al-Qaida leader in the Islamic Maghreb had been killed by French forces in northern Mali, French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly said on Friday.

On June 3, the French armed forces, with the support of their partners, neutralized the emir Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), Abdelmalek Droukdal, and several of his close collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali,” said the minister on Twitter.

Abdelmalek Droukdal, a member of the Al-Qaida steering committee, commanded all Qaida groups in North Africa and the Sahel strip, including JNIM, one of the main terrorist groups active in the Sahel,” she added.

(XINHUA)

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Venezuelan foreign minister confirms Guaido hiding in French Embassy, extradition expected

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed on Friday, reports that opposition leader Juan Guaido is hiding at the French embassy in Caracas, saying that the Latin American country is awaiting his extradition.

Arreaza’s remarks come after President Nicolas Maduro hinted that Guaido was “hiding from justice,” sparking talks that the latter might be sheltering at a diplomatic location.

“We hope that these governments (of Spain, France) will act properly, comply with the legislation of the hosting country — in this case, Venezuela — and transfer fugitives from justice into the hands of Venezuelan justice,” Arreaza said in an interview to Union Radio.

The foreign minister stressed that Leopoldo Lopez, another leading opposition figure, had been hiding at the Spanish embassy for more than a year.

Arreaza said that Lopez supervised Guaido and masterminded Operation Gideon, which was aimed at overthrowing Maduro. 

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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French gov’t launches contact-tracing smartphone app “StopCOVID”

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Photo taken on June 3, 2020 shows the contact-tracing smartphone app “StopCOVID” on a mobile phone in Paris, France. French government launched on June 2 “StopCOVID,” a contact-tracing smartphone app that could warn people voluntarily using it if they come into contact with a COVID-19 carrier. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

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Dozens arrested in France as protests over death of black Frenchman turn violent

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French riot police arrested 18 people who turned violent during an unauthorized demonstration overnight over the death of a black Frenchman in a 2016 police custody, local media reported on Wednesday.

Some 20,000 people demonstrated in front of the Paris Court near the ring road in the north of the capital on Tuesday evening, calling for justice for Adama Traore, who died in police custody in 2016 after he was arrested for a dispute over an identity check.

Violence erupted when some demonstrators hurled projectiles, set on fire rubbish bins and vandalized properties while police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Of those detained on charges of damaging public and private properties and carrying prohibited weapons, 17 remained in police custody, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

Rallies against police violence were also staged in other French cities, where 7 others were arrested and 10 policemen were slightly injured, the report added.

On Tuesday morning, Paris police announced that the demonstration was not authorized, as public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The protest came after a new probe, commissioned by Adama Traore‘s family, said the young man died of asphyxiation due to the arrest technique police officers had used during the operation.

State investigators had dismissed the charge of police brutality in the arrest of Traore, saying that the man died of heart failure due to pre-existing medical conditions.

(XINHUA)

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French court orders trial of Rwanda genocide suspect at UN tribunal

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A French court on Wednesday ordered that Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga be handed over to a United Nations tribunal for trial.

UN prosecutors accused Kabuga of bankrolling and arming ethnic Hutu militias that killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda during a 100-day period in 1994.

He is indicted for genocide and incitement to commit genocide, among other charges.

Kabuga, whose arrested in Paris in May ended a manhunt that lasted more than two decades, has called the charges lies.

His lawyers say he would not receive a fair trial at the tribunal, which is based in The Hague and in Arusha, Tanzania.

They also argue his health is too frail for him to be transferred to the African country, particularly during a dangerous pandemic.

But the court said his health was not incompatible with a transfer.

The 87-year-old is currently being held in a Paris prison.

In a letter to the UN tribunal’s chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, ahead of Wednesday’s ruling, Kabuga’s lawyers urged him to leave the case with France’s judiciary.

“If you were to decide to assert the primacy of your jurisdiction over French jurisdiction, thus endangering the life of Felicien Kabuga, we would take the risk of renouncing on discovering the truth forever,” Laurent Bayon wrote, citing Kabuga’s medical history.


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

 

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French court to rule on extradition of Rwanda genocide suspect Kabuga

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A key suspect in the 1994 Rwandan genocide was on Wednesday due to hear whether he is to be handed over to an international court.

Felicien Kabuga, born in 1933 or 1935, was tracked down to an apartment in a Paris suburb last month after more than 20 years on the run.

A United Nations court wants to try him on charges including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors allege that he chaired a radio station that orchestrated killings and that he was involved in setting up a genocidal militia in the capital, Kigali.

More than 800,000 Rwandans, members of the Tutsi ethnic group and moderate Hutus, who tried to protect them, were killed in the genocide.

Kabuga appeared before the Instruction Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal in a wheelchair last week for a procedural hearing.

He denounced the accusations against him as “lies” and pleaded to be released on bail as he was “very sick’’.

If the Paris court approves his extradition to the custody of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, he can appeal to France’s top court, the Court of Cassation.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

 
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Thousands demonstrate in Paris, calling for justice over death of black Frenchman

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Over 19,000 people demonstrated in Paris on Tuesday evening, calling for justice over the death of black Frenchman, Adama Traore, in police custody in 2016, according to a police source quoted by BFM television.

The demonstrators started gathering in the late afternoon in front of the Paris Court near the ring road in the north of the capital, brandishing slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe”, which echoed protests over the death of George Floyd, an African American, who died in police custody last week, in the United States.

The rally turned violent hours later, as some demonstrators set fires and put up barricades, with the traffic of the section of the ring road blocked.

Traore lost consciousness in a police vehicle and died at a police station in July 2016 after he was arrested for a dispute over an identity check, according to French media, with many reports pointing out that the man had no previous criminal record.

State investigators exonerated three police officers from an accusation of heavy-handedness in the arrest of Traore, saying that the 24-year old black died of a heart attack due to pre-existing medical condition.

His family said he died from asphyxiation from police tactics.

On Tuesday morning, Paris Police announced that the demonstration was not authorised, as public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited due to the coronavirus epidemic.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Thousands demonstrate in Paris, calling for justice over death of black Frenchman

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Over 19,000 people demonstrated in Paris on Tuesday evening, calling for justice over the death of black Frenchman Adama Traore in police custody in 2016, according to a police source quoted by BFM television.

The demonstrators started gathering in the late afternoon in front of the Paris Court near the ring road in the north of the capital, brandishing slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” which echoed protests over the death of George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody last week, in the United States.

The rally turned violent hours later, as some demonstrators set fires and put up barricades, with the traffic of the section of the ring road blocked.

Traore lost consciousness in a police vehicle and died at a police station in July 2016 after he was arrested for dispute over an identity check, according to French media, with many reports pointing out that the man had no previous criminal record.

State investigators exonerated three police officers from accusation of heavy-handedness in the arrest of Traore, saying that the 24-year old black died of a heart attack due to pre-existing medical condition. His family said he died from asphyxiation from police tactics.

On Tuesday morning, Paris police announced that the demonstration was not authorized, as public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited due to the coronavirus epidemic.

(XINHUA)

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French economy likely to contract 11 pct in 2020 due to coronavirus: minister

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The French economy, the second-largest in Europe, is expected to contract by 11 percent this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as the nearly two-month lockdown had paralyzed businesses and hit demand, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

The minister had previously estimated the French economy to shrink by 8 percent for 2020.

Growth in France in 2020, let’s say rather the recession — the term is more appropriate, will be at minus 11 percent,” Le Maire told French commercial radio network RTL.

The minister said “the toughest is ahead” because “the shock of the crisis has been extremely violent in France” and economic activities were at a halt for nearly three months.

On March 16, French President Emmanuel Macron announced nationwide confinement for 15 days, starting at noon on March 17. This was extended twice and ended on May 11, when France cautiously started a gradual process to return to normalcy, easing some restrictions while maintaining others to avoid a new epidemic wave.

“The shock is very brutal. We must take all the measures to relaunch growth in 2021. I have the absolute conviction that the strategy we have adopted will allow us to rebound strongly in 2021,” he added.

Le Maire ruled out an increase in taxes to compensate for a surge in public spending to mitigate the economic fallout of the pandemic. He reiterated that the government’s plan to kickstart the economy was based on massive support to the hardest-hit sectors to avoid bankruptcies and modernize ways of production to bolster competitiveness and spur growth.

Since May 11, France has step by step returned to normality, allowing most businesses to go back to work after a nationwide lockdown.

On Tuesday, which marks the start of the second phase of de-confinement, 300,000 restaurants and cafes are allowed to receive customers, allowing 500,000 workers in the sector to resume their work.

The French government had also greenlighted museums, parks, beaches and religious sites to reopen, while theatres and swimming pools remained shut down in “orange” areas where the virus circulates faster than in low-risk regions.

(XINHUA)

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