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.