Germany lobbies India to buy Eurofighters, submarines

Updated 27 May 2015
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Germany lobbies India to buy Eurofighters, submarines

NEW DELHI: Germany’s defense minister held out the prospect of more talks on a possible sale of Eurofighter jets to India and, on a visit to New Delhi, said on Wednesday Berlin stood ready to back a multi-billion-dollar Indian submarine project.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has just marked his first year in office, cut through an impasse over a troubled tender for high-end combat jets by announcing a deal in France last month to buy 36 Rafales from Dassault.
India has since said the original tender, launched by the last government to acquire 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, is all but dead, but rival jet makers are hoping the $14 billion tender will be reopened.
The Eurofighter, made by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, was knocked out in the final round of the tender by Rafale. But controversy over the lifetime cost of operating the French plane blocked a final deal. “I again conveyed to the defense minister the interest of the Eurofighter nations in continuing talks, should the Indian side be interested,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.
“That was was taken on board positively,” she added, after meeting her counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, on Wednesday evening. Germany has taken the lead in the sales pitch to India for the Eurofighter, made by Alenia Aermacchi, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, Airbus Group and BAE Systems.


At least 134 Fulani herders killed in central Mali’s worst violence yet

Members of the Malian Army (Fama), patrol in Anderamboukane, in Menaka region, on March 22, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 min 18 sec ago
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At least 134 Fulani herders killed in central Mali’s worst violence yet

  • Some 4,500 French troops remain based in the wider Sahel, most of them in Mali

BAMAKO: Gunmen killed at least 134 Fulani herders in central Mali on Saturday, a local mayor said, the deadliest such attack of recent times in a region reeling from worsening ethnic and jihadist violence.
The assaults on the villages of Ogossagou and Welingara took place as a UN Security Council mission visited Mali seeking solutions to violence that killed hundreds of civilians last year and is spreading across West Africa’s Sahel region.
Moulaye Guindo, mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, said armed men, dressed as traditional Donzo hunters, encircled and attacked Ogossagou at about 4 a.m. (0400 GMT).
“We are provisionally at 134 bodies recovered by the gendarmes,” Guindo told Reuters by telephone from Ogossagou.
He said another nearby Fulani village, Welingara, had also been attacked, causing “a number” of deaths, but he did not yet know how many.
Security sources said the dead included pregnant women, children and elderly people.
One Ogossagou resident, who asked not to be identified, said the attack appeared to be in retaliation for an Al-Qaeda affiliate’s claim of responsibility on Friday for a raid last week that killed 23 soldiers.
That group said that raid was payback for violence by Mali’s army and militiamen against the Fulani.
Jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh have exploited ethnic rivalries in Mali and its neighbors Burkina Faso and Niger in recent years to boost recruitment and render vast swathes of territory virtually ungovernable.
French forces intervened in Mali, a former French colony, in 2013 to push back a jihadist advance from the desert north but the militants have since regrouped and expanded their presence into central Mali and the neighboring countries.
Some 4,500 French troops remain based in the wider Sahel, most of them in Mali. The United States also has hundreds of troops in the region.
Security Council ambassadors met with Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and other government officials on Friday evening to discuss the violence and the slow implementation of a 2015 peace agreement with non-Islamist armed groups.
“Clear sense of frustration among many Security Council members at pace of implementation of Mali Peace Agreement,” Britain’s representative on the mission, Stephen Hickey, wrote on Twitter. “Security Council prepared to impose sanctions on those who impede its implementation.”