IS Soldiers Kill Priest In France

France, IS, PriestTwo armed men have killed a priest and adopted four other persons when they stormed a church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France.

Officials say the attackers, who claimed to be members of the Islamic State (IS) slit 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel’s throat during a morning Mass.

BBC says Police surrounded the church and shot dead both abductors while one of the captives is in a critical condition in the hospital.

Visiting the scene, President Francois Hollande vowed that France would fight IS by all means.

He said that the attackers had committed a “cowardly assassination”.

Pope Francis criticised the “pain and horror of this absurd violence” while UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, described the attack as “sickening” and offered her sympathies to the people of France.

France Pledges 8bn Euros For Renewable Energy In Africa

Francois Hollande Pledges 8bn Euros For Renewable Energy In AfricaFrance is promising eight billion euros over the next five years for investment in renewable energy in Africa and to increase Africans’ access to electricity.

The pledge was made on Tuesday by President Francois Hollande at a meeting with 12 African leaders.

The meeting focused on the threats from climate change, including coastal erosion, advancing deserts and rivers that are drying up.

The meeting was part of larger talks outside Paris this week and next aimed at strengthening international accord to fight global warming.

Save Lake Chad

Earlier on Monday, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, called on world leaders to forge a united front to save Lake Chad’s ecosystem from further depletion caused by the adverse effects of climate change.

The Nigerian President made the request at the Leaders Event of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP 21, in Paris.

President Buhari said climate change had continued to pose a threat to Nigeria’s security and development.

He said: “At the sub-regional level, we are saddled with the challenge of the drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, which is resulting in the total wipe out of livelihoods of many communities surrounding this trans-boundary natural resource.

“Regrettably, the world is leaving behind millions of people who depend on the Lake for their survival.

“The Government of Nigeria welcomes the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Plan, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission and international partners for designing this climate-based Plan,” he told the gathering.

 

Islamic State: Merkel Vows Germany Will Do More To Fight Extremists

GermanyGermany has vowed to do more in the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

Speaking in France after meeting President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said it is Germany’s “duty to reflect” and to “act quickly”.

“We are stronger than any terrorism. Nevertheless, terrorism must be fought with all possible force,” Merkel said.

IS “can’t be convinced with words, it must be fought with military means,” she added.

France has invoked a clause requiring European Union (EU) member states to provide military assistance, following the attacks.

IS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Paris on November 13, that killed 130 people.

At least one suspected attacker is still at large.

France Pledges Support For Nigeria To Combat Terrorism

France Pledges Support For Nigeria To Combat TerrorismThe French government has pledged to work with the Federal Government of Nigeria towards combating the menace of terrorism.

The Director, Military Intelligence of the Republic of France, General Christophe Gomert, declared his country’s unwavering support to Nigeria on Wednesday at a meeting with Nigerian government officials in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.

General Gomert said the fight against global terrorism could be won through effective collaboration between the two countries.

The Chief of Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan, also said that Nigeria would continue to build on the existing bilateral relationship between both countries.

This comes few weeks after attacks in Paris, which the Islamic State claimed responsibility for.

After the near-simultaneous attacks that killed about 130 people in Paris, the French President, Francois Hollande, said it was an ‘act of war’ organised by the Islamic State militant group.

Days after the Paris attack, suicide bombers carried out attacks in Yola and Kano, which President Muhammadu Buhari also condemned in strongest terms. He urged Nigerians to increase vigilance even as the military tried to end the activities of the Boko Haram in the north-east.

Paris Attack Mastermind’s Fate Unknown

Paris Attack

The fate of the suspected mastermind of Friday’s attacks in Paris remains unknown after a Police raid on a flat ended in bloodshed.

Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins, has revealed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was not among the eight people arrested during the raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis.

French experts are, however, working to establish whether the suspected organiser of the Paris attacks was among those killed.

President Francois Hollande declared the state of emergency for 12 days, after gunmen and suicide bombers targeted a concert hall, cafes and the Stade de France on Friday last week, killing 129 people and injuring scores more.

Members of the French parliament are due to vote on extending the state of emergency.

France Carries Out Air Strikes Against ISIS

france carries air strike against isisFrance says it has carried out its first air strikes against Islamic State (ISIS)  militants in Syria.

A statement from the office of President Francois Hollande said that French planes struck targets identified during reconnaissance missions conducted over the past fortnight.

“The operation to fight the terrorist threat of ISIS was coordinated with regional partners.

“We will strike any time our national security is at stake”, it said.

In an announcement earlier this month, France cited self-defence as its rationale for planning the strikes, while ruling out ground operations.

French jets had previously carried out air strikes against its targets in neighbouring Iraq.

Meanwhile, David Cameron is to call for a new diplomatic drive to end Syria’s civil war as he meets world leaders at the United Nations in New York on Sunday.

The UK Prime Minister is expected to drop his opposition to Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, playing a role in any transitional government.

Ahead of the UN gathering, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, met with Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Saturday to discuss Syria.

France To Spend 130million Euros In Nigeria

Muhammadu-Buhari-and-Francois-HollandeIt would seem the Nigerian President’s visit to France might yet yield fruit as Paris has promised military support for Nigeria in intelligence and equipment, and says it wants to invest as much as 130 million Euros in the country’s infrastructure development.

Both Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Francois Hollande were at a closed door on Tuesday, after which they addressed a joint press conference.

The French President expressed his government’s concern about the insecurity in Nigeria’s north-east and Boko Haram’s activities spreading to other parts of West Africa.

Both leaders discussed new strategies that would enable Nigeria and her neighbours, through the Multinational Joint Task Force, to fight the insurgency and restore peace.

President Hollande recalled that in 2014, France hosted a regional summit on security in Paris, which brought together, presidents of West Africa, to determine a strategy for fighting insurgency.

President Buhari thanked his French counterpart for his interest in Nigeria’s problems and said that having secured the country’s support, he could now go on to secure that of the G7.

Buhari Meets Business Community In France

Muhammadu-Buhari-and-Francois-Hollande-meetingNigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has held conversations with the business community in France with a view to getting investors to invest in Nigeria.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the President told the French Community the stand of the Nigerian economy as well as the challenges and opportunities.

Others on the delegation discussed the economic gains with the private sector, the group also looked into other areas, of investment, trade and economy.

Present at the meeting were the French President of MEDEF, Mr Piere Gattaz and Ambassador of Nigeria to France, Ambassador Hakeem Olawale Sulaiman, Governors of Ogun; Ibikunle Amosun, Zamfara; Abdullaziz Yari and Jigawa; Abubakar Baduru.

The meeting was held after French President Francois Hollande and President Buhari held a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace, with visiting President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on a three-day working visit to Paris.

At a meeting between both leaders, France had pledged to support Nigeria with equipment and intelligence gathering in its fight against terrorism and other forms of extremism in the north-east.

The French President also said his administration would support the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), saying that the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State jihadists is the same battle.

President Buhari is on a three-day working visit to Paris.

France Pledges Support For Nigeria’s Fight Aganist Terrorism

Muhammadu-Buhari-and-Francois-Hollande the president of France in a meetingFrance has pledged to support Nigeria with equipment and intelligence gathering in its counter-terrorism operations and other forms of extremism in the north-east.

President François Hollande made the pledge at a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace, with visiting President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on a three-day working visit to Paris.

The French President also said his administration would support the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), saying that the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State jihadists is the same battle.

The MNJTF is the almost 9,000-strong force constituted by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Benin to fight the Boko Haram sect.

He warned that Boko Haram had expanded “after declaring its loyalty to IS”, emphasising that the jihadists’ alliance, announced in March, had given the Nigerian terrorist group “a source of material resources”.

“We know Boko Haram is linked to Daesh and so receives help, support from this group,” Hollande said.

“To fight Boko Haram is to fight Daesh, and we can no longer single out terrorism according to regions.

“It is the same terrorism, inspired by the same ideology of death,” the French leader stated.

Mr Hollande said his government was concerned about the increasing spate of insecurity in Nigeria and West Africa and was ready to render support in tackling extremism.

The French President discussion with President Buhari also looked at new strategies of partnership that would enable Nigeria and its neighbouring countries – Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic – through the joint action of the MNJTF, fight the insurgency and restore the peace.

He said: “We provide all of the support to the countries in the region which are affected by this cult and in Nigeria; we want to provide support and solidarity”.

Thanking Mr Buhari for his recent actions towards defeating terror, Hollande said France had concluded arrangements to invest 130 million Euros in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria for rebuilding of roads, provision of electricity and water supply.

Greatly Blessed Nation

President Buhari thanked the French government for its interest in assisting Nigeria and expressed readiness of his administration to partner with France.

He said that Nigeria’s next shopping list for support would move to other members of the G7.

“We have to depend on France and the other G7 countries for support to fight piracy.

“Our next shopping list is going to G7 in terms of intelligence and training. Another problem is the problem in the Gulf of Guinea, from Senegal to Angola, that area is endowed with resources like petroleum and other minerals but surrounded by piracy and theft.

“We are going to depend on France and the G7 countries to flush these criminals out of the region.

“More than 67 per cent of our youths and most of them under their youthful age are unemployed. We are finding best way in Agriculture and mining to address this before sophisticated infrastructure and security, are provided,” the Nigerian President said.

Wooing investors in a meeting on Monday, President Buhari said there was more to Nigeria than just oil exploration, stressing that the Nigeria is greatly blessed with lands rich in agricultural and mineral resources coupled with skilled and low-cost labour, large market, robust and competitive private sector, stressing that the areas remained largely untapped.

He also stated that other critical areas, such as agriculture, energy, automobile and skill development needed to be expanded to provide jobs for the youths.

Buhari To Hold Talks With Hollande And Key French Ministers

Buahri_officePresident Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, for Paris on September 14 to begin a three-day official visit to France at the invitation of President Francois Hollande.

According to a statement from the Nigerian President’s office, President Buhari will be accompanied on the visit by the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd.), the Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Ministries of Defence, Finance, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment as well as the Chief Executives of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

As the composition of his entourage indicates, President Buhari’s talks in Paris with President Hollande and other senior French Government officials will focus on the further strengthening and consolidation of ongoing bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in the areas of defence, security, trade and investments.

Apart from his scheduled meeting with President Hollande at the Elysee Palace on Monday evening, the President and his team will also confer with the French Minister of Defence, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, Mr Michel Sapin, the French Minister of Economy and Industry, Mr Emmanuel Macron and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr Laurent Fabius.

President Buhari will visit the Headquarters of MEDEF, France’s largest federation of investors and employers, where he would participate in a France/Nigeria Investment Forum with leading Nigerian and French entrepreneurs.

The President will also confer with the Chief Executive Officers of leading French multinational companies such as Total and Lafarge on their current and future investments in Nigeria.

His other scheduled engagements in Paris include a meeting with African Ambassadors to France and an interactive session with members of the Nigerian community.

The President will conclude his visit to France on Wednesday, September 16 and return to Abuja the same day.

Ban Ki-moon Requests Buhari’s Input To Fresh UN Resolution Against Extremism

ban ki moon requests Buhari's input to UN resolutionPresident Muhammadu Buhari has accepted an invitation from the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon to a meeting of world leaders in New York which is expected to formulate a fresh plan of action against extremism.

President Barack Obama and President Francois Hollande of France are also expected to participate in the September 28 meeting which will, among other things deliberate on a new United Nations draft resolution on combating extremism worldwide.

Mr Ban also invited President Buhari to a meeting of a select group of 25 World leaders in New York on September 27 to deliberate on a global climate change agreement.

In offering the invitations Monday in Abuja, the Secretary-General said they were in recognition of the political will demonstrated by President Buhari in combating terror in Nigeria and dealing with environmental issues.

Mr Ban applauded moves by Buhari’s Administration to clean up Ogoniland and promised the full support of the United Nations for the exercise.

“We will find ways to complement your leadership on environmental reform. We are happy with your plans for the restoration of Ogoniland and we will see how we can help,” the UN Secretary-General assured the President.

He said that the UN will welcome President Buhari’s “input and experience” in finalizing plans to introduce a new resolution against extremism at the General Assembly.

French Hostage, Isabelle Prime Regains Freedom In Yemen

Isabelle PrimeA French woman who was taken hostage in Yemen on February has been freed, the French presidency said.

Isabelle Prime was freed on Thursday night and would imminently be returning to France, the President’s office said.

No details of her release were provided.

The 30 year old woman was working as a consultant on a World Bank funded project when she was abducted on February 24 while travelling to the capital, Sanaa.

Prime’s translator, Sherine Makkaoui, who was seized at the same time, was released in March.

In recent years, tribesmen in Yemen have kidnapped foreigners as a means of putting pressure on the government to provide them with better services or to release jailed relatives.

Dressed in black, she appealed to President Francois Hollande and the Yemeni authorities to arrange her release because she was “really, really tired”.

“I tried to kill myself several times because I know you will not co-operate and I totally understand,” she said