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Geopolitics

US Aided France In Failed Somalia Hostage Rescue, Second Death Reported

CNN (USA), LE FIGARO (France), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

U.S. troops lent "limited technical support" in France's bloody and failed bid in Somalia to rescue Dennis Allex, a French intelligence agent who'd been held hostage by al-Qaeda linked terrorists since 2009.

President Barack Obama detailed the U.S. military involvement in the Friday night mission in a letter sent to the leaders of the nation's two legislative chambers.

While U.S. forces "provided limited technical support," they "took no direct part in the assault on the compound where it was believed the French citizen was being held hostage," Obama explained in the letter which was then publicly released, according to CNN.

Screenshot of Dennis Allex's October message to French President François Hollande - Youtube expand=1]

Meanwhile, Islamist rebels in Somalia say a second French soldier has died of his wounds sustained during the botched raid. The soldier had already been reported as missing in action after the assault in Bulo Marer, about 75 miles northwest of the capital Mogadishu, ended with a French soldier and 17 al-Qaeda linked militants dead.

Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters: "The second commando died from his bullet wounds. We shall display the bodies of the two Frenchmen."

The fate of Dennis Allex himself is still unclear: Although French authorities announced the hostage had been gunned down by his captors during the attack, Abu Musab insisted that the intelligence officer was still alive and being held in a new location, France’s daily Le Figaro reports.

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Geopolitics

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023

Before heading to South Sudan to continue his highly anticipated trip to Africa, the pontiff was in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he delivered a powerful speech, in a country where 40 million Catholics live.

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — You may know the famous Joseph Stalin quote: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?” Pope Francis still has no military divisions to his name, but he uses his voice, and he does so wisely — sometimes speaking up when no one else would dare.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Belgian Congo, a region plundered and martyred, before and after its independence in 1960), Francis has chosen to speak loudly. Congo is a country with 110 million inhabitants, immensely rich in minerals, but populated by poor people and victims of brutal wars.

That land is essential to the planetary ecosystem, and yet for too long, the world has not seen it for its true value.

The words of this 86-year-old pope, who now moves around in a wheelchair, deserve our attention. He undoubtedly said what a billion Africans are thinking: "Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!"

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