French action in Abidjan a mistake, says Libya

24th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 24 (AFP) - France's military intervention in Ivory Coast was a mistake, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said Wednesday in an interview published ahead of President Jacques Chirac's visit to Tripoli.

PARIS, Nov 24 (AFP) - France's military intervention in Ivory Coast was a mistake, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said Wednesday in an interview published ahead of President Jacques Chirac's visit to Tripoli.

"Personally I have never understood the reason for France's military presence in Africa. What does it want to do there?" he told Le Figaro newspaper.

"Look at what happened in Ivory Coast. I fear it will have negative effects on Franco-African relations. There used to be mutual trust between Africa and France. I fear that it was a mistake to intervene in Ivory Coast. Now the trust has disappeared," he said.

Earlier this month France destroyed the small Ivorian airforce after government forces killed nine French peace-keepers. Since then France has sent in more troop reinforcements and evacuated thousands of its nationals from Ivory Coast.

Kadhafi said the answer to conflicts in Africa was a "single African army" answering to the African Union.

"What matters to me is to get rid of all national armies in Africa. They are no longer necessary. The single African army must replace them. It is these armies that are the cause of the conflicts, the wars, the coups d'etat," Kadhafi said.

Chirac arrives in Libya later Wednesday for the first ever trip to the country by a French head of state.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article