Posted by: APO | 5 January 2008



Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson



(Paris, January 4, 2008)

[Please note that only the original French text issued by the

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.






France is observing the situation in Kenya attentively and hopes that the

violence will continue to lessen.


We are closely following the situation of our nationals in Kenya and

updating our recommendations for them. We have made arrangements to

facilitate the return of French tourists who wish to return to France from

Mombassa and we’ve sent a representative from the Ministry of Foreign and

European Affairs to the city.


We are also paying close attention to the repercussions that the situation

might have on the delivery of humanitarian aid to the displaced and

refugee populations in this region of Africa.


France calls on all the parties to show restraint and engage in dialogue.

It stresses that it is up to the Kenyans to find solutions to the crisis

in accordance with their democratic tradition. It is ready to provide

assistance, together with the other members of the international community

and particularly its European partners, if the parties state they need it.


Q – How large exactly is the French community in Kenya—in terms of

numbers, sectors of activity, etc.? Do you plan to evacuate them in the

event international mediation fails?


The French community registered with our embassy’s consular services in

Nairobi numbers 1,140. Evacuation measures are not being considered.






Q – What’s your response to the cancellation of the Dakar Rally owing to

security concerns in Mauritania?


The minister just made a statement on Radio France Info. I refer you to

the text which will be on line by early afternoon. The minister praised

the organizers for their courage and wisdom in taking into account the

overriding concerns for security. He also paid tribute to the efforts

made by the Mauritanian authorities.







Q – What is France expecting from the peace summit for North Kivu that’s

being held in Goma Sunday at the suggestion of the Democratic Republic of

the Congo? Do you want to see General Nkunda take part?


France supports the peace conference for the Kivus and hopes it results in

lasting solutions for bringing peace to the eastern part of the Democratic

Republic of the Congo. The priority is to assist the displaced population

and put an end to the activities of all the illegal armed groups, in

particular Mr. Nkunda’s militias and the rebels belonging to the

Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.


It is important that this conference should lead to the start of

discussions, as inclusive as possible, to promote a lasting settlement to

the crisis, but the decision regarding the participants rests solely with

the Congolese authorities./.


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