UNESCO grants peace prize to Hollande amid French-led Mali war

UNESCO grants peace prize to Hollande amid French-led Mali war

French President Francois Hollande

French President Francois HollandeThe file photo shows French soldiers standing guard at the Mali air force base near capital, Bamako. A French soldier wearing a skeleton mask stands next to a tank in a street in Niono, January 20, 2013.
French President Francois Hollande
Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:4AM GMT
The UN cultural agency, UNESCO, has granted a peace prize to the French president for his “valuable contribution to peace and stability in Africa,” amid the ongoing French-led war in the African country of Mali.

The former President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, who chaired the Jury of the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize, said on Thursday, “After analyzing the global situation, it is Africa that held the attention of the Jury with the various threats affecting the continent.”

He added that the Jury decided to give the award to Francois Hollande “for his great contribution to peace and stability in Africa.”

This comes after France launched its war on Mali on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in the West African country. The war has left thousands of Malians homeless.

On February 1, Amnesty International condemned “serious human rights breaches” including the killing of children in the French war in Mali.

The rights organization said there was “evidence that at least five civilians, including three children, were killed in an airstrike” carried out by French forces against the local fighters.

Some political analysts believe that Mali’s abundant natural resources, including gold and uranium reserves, could be one of the reasons behind the French war.

Created in 1989, the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize is purportedly given to the people, institutions and organizations that have made significant contribution to the promotion, research, preservation or maintenance of peace.


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