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Egypt – Uganda – CAR – South Sudan

Published on January 6, 2014
Press briefing by the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman (excerpts)

Paris, December 23, 2013

Egypt – Sentencing of liberal activists

France takes note of the heavy prison sentences handed down in the court of first instance to three human rights activists: Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel. The handing down of these sentences follows the arrests carried out by the police – including on the premises of a human rights association – on the basis of the new law on demonstrations adopted on 24 November.

France shares the concerns expressed by the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights about this law. The sentences handed down yesterday confirm these concerns.

France calls for compliance with the commitments made by the Egyptian authorities in the framework of the road map and internationally regarding public freedoms, notably the freedom of expression and opinion and the freedom to demonstrate peacefully while respecting public security requirements. (…)

Uganda – Adoption by Parliament of a bill strengthening the crackdown against homosexuals

France expresses its concern following the adoption by Uganda’s Parliament of a law strengthening the criminalization of homosexuality in the country.

As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reaffirmed, the basic principles of equality and non-discrimination apply to everyone under international human rights law. The provisions penalizing homosexuality are contrary to the international treaties on human rights freely ratified by Uganda.

France reaffirms its commitment to the decriminalization of homosexuality and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It supports civil society initiatives aimed at combating these types of discrimination.


Q. – Chadian troops fired on anti-Djotodia demonstrators and killed one of them. What’s your reaction? Does the Chadian contingent have a role to play in MISCA [AFISM-CAR] in the Central African Republic? Do you still trust Idriss Déby?

THE SPOKESMAN – France extends its condolences to the victims’ families. It hopes that light will be shed on the conditions governing the use of force against demonstrators.

France reaffirms its wholehearted support for MISCA, the African Union force made up of contingents from central Africa, which it knows is committed to fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians, with the support of the French force, Sangaris.

We again salute the determination of the heads of state and government of ECCAS to work, in coordination with the African Union, towards the stabilization of the Central African Republic. President Idriss Déby of Chad, in his capacity as current chairman of ECCAS, has played a key role in defining the framework for the political transition in the Central African Republic. He is a key partner and France has full confidence in him.

South Sudan

Q. – What is the situation regarding the French citizens in South Sudan?

THE SPOKESMAN – This morning, 51 French citizens remain in South Sudan. Most of them work for humanitarian organizations.

Our embassy in Juba has again asked them to leave the country.

Several of them should do so in the next few days, depending on the availability of flights.

In this respect, we would like to thank our partners who chartered planes in addition to the commercial flights, enabling several of our compatriots to leave the country over the last few days. We’re also grateful to the UN agencies for ensuring the safety of some of our citizens on the ground./.