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Wielding a machete in Bangui
Wielding a machete in Bangui
Cyril Bensimon

BANGUI — The motorbike stops abruptly. “If the French don’t want to help us, al-Qaeda will,” the teenager shouts before driving away. All around him, this road of the Begoua neighborhood in north Bangui — the Central African Republic’s capital — is covered in bundles full of the belongings of hundreds of people waiting to leave for Chad. Most of the men of the Fula community are armed with machetes, bows and arrows.

These days, France is not the most beloved country in this neighborhood. At the Nur al-Imam mosque, the bodies of three men and two women are rolled up in mats. “The French soldiers killed them. There were six of them, on foot. They threw grenades and shot with their rifles,” says Fadil Mahamat. Another man holds up the cartridge clip of a FAMAS, a French military rifle, bullet casings and a grenade pin as evidence.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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