Suicide bomber kills five in Chad, including soldier

In this file photo taken on March 23, 2019 two camels walk, on the road between Hadjer Hadid and Arkou, in the region of Ouaddaï, Chad. At least 37 people have been killed in fresh fighting between rival ethnic groups in Chad, President Idriss Deby says, calling the violence a "terrible phenomenon". (AFP)
Updated 14 August 2019

Suicide bomber kills five in Chad, including soldier

  • Violence in the region has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced about 2 million since 2009

N'DJAMENA: A suicide bomber killed five people, including a Chadian soldier, when she blew herself up on the shores of Lake Chad on Wednesday, three military and government sources said.
The sources said the attack happened shortly after midnight in the compound of a traditional chieftain in the district of Kaiga-Kindjiria. The attacker walked in and detonated her bomb just as people in the compound were preparing to go to bed, they said, without giving further details.
Lake Chad, which sprawls across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, is a stronghold for the two main factions of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram: Boko Haram itself and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) splinter group.
Violence in the region has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced about 2 million since 2009, when Boko Haram first launched an uprising with the intention of carving out an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.
Militants in the Lake Chad region have routinely ambushed soldiers, opened fire on markets and kidnapped women and children, including nearly 270 schoolgirls in the village of Chibok in 2014, a hundred of whom are still missing.
In June, West African troops killed 42 suspected Islamic State fighters in a battle in the Lake Chad region, the heaviest death toll suffered by the insurgents in the last six months.
But they continue to show themselves capable of devastating hit-and-run attacks. Last month, an attack by suspected Islamists on a group returning from a funeral in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state killed at least 65 people.


France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

Updated 19 September 2020

France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

  • Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a ‘double standard’ by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members

JEDDAH: France on Friday backed Cyprus’ calls for the EU to consider imposing tougher sanctions on Turkey if the Turkish government won’t suspend its search for energy reserves in eastern Mediterranean waters where Cyprus and Greece claim exclusive economic rights.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune said sanctions should be among the options the 27-member bloc considers employing if Turkey continues to “endanger the security and sovereignty of a member state.”

“But we consider that the union should also be ready to use all the instruments at its disposal, among them one of sanctions, if the situation didn’t evolve positively,” Beaune said after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia.

A European Parliament resolution has called for sanctions against Turkey unless it showed “sincere cooperation and concrete progress” in defusing tensions with Greece and Cyprus.

Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey and now analyst at Carnegie Europe, said the resolution reflected the views of a democratically elected parliament from across the bloc. “This is not ‘country X against country Y,’ it is the aggregated view of the European Parliament,” he told Arab News.

EU leaders are set to hold a summit in a few days to discuss how to respond to Turkey prospecting in areas of the sea that Greece and Cyprus insist are only theirs to explore.

Turkey triggered a naval stand-off with NATO ally Greece after dispatching a warship-escorted research vessel in a part of the eastern Mediterranean that Greece says is over its continental shelf. Greece deployed its own warship and naval patrols in response.

Greek and Turkish military officers are also holding talks at NATO headquarters to work out ways of ensuring that any standoff at sea doesn’t descend into open conflict.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s withdrawal of its survey ship and warship escorts was a positive step, but that Greece needs to make sure Ankara is sincere.

He said a list of sanctions will be put before EU leaders at next week’s summit and whether they’ll be implemented will depend on Turkey’s actions. “I’m hoping that it won’t become necessary to reach that point,” Dendias said.

Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a “double standard” by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud and police brutality while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members.

Meanwhile, the EU is set to announce sanctions on Monday against three companies from Turkey, Jordan and Kazakhstan which are accused of violating a UN arms embargo on Libya, diplomats told AFP.