Egypt’s pledge to send troops was not in context of Yemen War: Saudi general

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Egypt’s pledge to send troops was part of discussions concerning the possible forming of a United Arab Forces as part of the “Arab National Security”, Saudi general Ahmed Al-Asiri said on Tuesday to Saudi channel Al Arabiya.

Al-Asiri said that the topic came up when it was discussed in the Arab League. “This came as part of Egypt’s stance that the security of the Arab world is the same as Egypt’s,” adding that “the issue has nothing to do with participating in Yemen.”

Egypt has previously said it is only contributing naval units in the conflict and denied that there are any Egyptian troops involved on the ground. The Egyptian presidency has previously noted “the participation of the required elements of the armed forces in an abroad mission to defend the Egyptian and Arab national security in the area of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Bab El-Mandeb Strait.”

Earlier, Al-Asiri said that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi proposed sending 40,000 Egyptian troops to Yemen as part of the fight against the Houthi rebels. He added that the offer was refused as Saudi Arabia’s goal was to build a Yemeni army and not to send foreign soldiers.

Beginning in March 2015, Saudi Arabia conducted airstrikes within Yemen, targeting areas controlled by the Houthis, including Sana’a, to re-establish the “legitimacy” of the government of president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is the Saudi-recognised ruler of Yemen.

Since the beginning of the strikes against Houthi-held positions, more than 5,700 people have been killed, many of them civilians, and Yemen is facing a humanitarian disaster due to a naval blockade and difficulties for humanitarian organisations to supply the country with food and other necessities.

Bilateral relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been strained over the past few months after Egypt’s vote in favour of the Russian draft resolution for peace in Syria at the UN Security Council.

The Saudi envoy described the voting as “painful.” Saudi Arabia criticised Egypt’s vote because of to the airstrikes Russia had carried out in the city of Aleppo. Russia supports Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad; however, Saudi Arabia and the US are backing the opposition in Syria.

Despite all this, after the Arab League Summit in Jordan last month, Al-Sisi is preparing to visit Saudi Arabia this month at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

The move comes as a sign of improving relations between Cairo and Riyadh after months of tension between the two countries.


Source : Daily News Egypt

Formation des militaires centrafricains: l’expertise camerounaise sollicitée

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En visite de travail au Cameroun, le ministre de la Défense nationale centrafricain a été reçu en audience hier par Joseph Beti Assomo

La Compagnie d’honneur et de protection de la Brigade du Quartier général était en branle hier à l’esplanade de ministère de la Défense. Ses éléments, sous le commandement du capitaine Ibrahim El Rachdini et la Compagnie de la Musique principale des armées ont constitué la troupe d’honneur, pour recevoir le ministre de la Défense nationale de la République centrafricaine (RCA). Joseph Yakete est chaleureusement accueilli sur le perron du bâtiment principal par son homologue camerounais, Joseph Beti Assomo, ministre délégué à la présidence de la République chargé de la Défense (MINDEF). Puis, une séance de travail à huis clos dans le cabinet du MINDEF, en présence des plus proches collaborateurs des deux personnalités. Joseph Yakete, assisté de l’ambassadeur de la RCA au Cameroun, S.E Martial Beti-Marace de l’inspecteur général de l’armée centrafricaine, Jean-Pierre Dolle Waya et d’autres officiers, échangera avec le MINDEF. Aux côtés de ce dernier, le secrétaire d’Etat à la Défense chargé de la gendarmerie nationale, Jean-Baptiste Bokam, le secrétaire d’Etat chargé des Anciens combattants et Victimes de guerres, Koumpa Issa, le chef d’état-major des armées, le général de corps d’armée, René Claude Meka, entre autres.
Aucune déclaration formelle n’a été faite après cette première étape de la visite. Toutefois, si l’on s’en tient aux éclairages de la Division de la communication du MINDEF, cette visite se situe dans le cadre de l’accompagnement du gouvernement camerounais au processus de stabilisation en RCA. Par ailleurs, selon la volonté des deux chefs d’Etat, elle vise le renforcement de la coopération militaire et technique bilatérale. Ainsi, l’un des objectifs majeurs de la visite est la formation militaire au profit des Forces armées centrafricaines (FACA).
A ce titre, le ministre centrafricain de la Défense nationale a effectué une descente à l’Ecole militaire interarmées (EMIA) et l’Ecole d’état-major. En compagnie du général de division, commandant des Ecoles et centres d’instruction interarmées, Philippe Mpay, Joseph Yakete a eu droit à la présentation de la prestigieuse institution de formation des officiers de l’armée camerounaise et du renforcement permanent des capacités de ceux-ci. Ce tour dans les infrastructures de formation a également conduit l’hôte du Cameroun au Commandement des écoles et centres d’instruction de la gendarmerie nationale (CECIGN), au Camp Yeyap. Dans ce moule réputé pour la formation spécialisée de la gendarmerie nationale qui a en son sein sept établissements, le SED, Jean-Baptiste Bokam, a indiqué qu’il s’agit du creuset de l’esprit gendarme au Cameroun. Dans sa présentation détaillée, le colonel MBOGMIS, commandant du Centre, a rappelé que le CECIGN assure la formation initiale continue et le perfectionnement des gendarmes. Le développement des compétences et l’amélioration des prestations sont également des priorités majeures. Dans l’accomplissement de ses missions,  le CECIGN a déjà reçu plusieurs stagiaires venus de la RCA ainsi que de 21 autres pays.



Was Francois Fillon the target of a foiled election terror plot?

Fillon at the Montpellier rally. Photo: AFP
Counter terror police have increased the risk level of an attack targeting Fillon to two on its four-point scale, of which 1 is the highest warning, reported France TV Info.
But the fact police gave the photographs of the two suspects to the security teams of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen suggests they were either not quite certain which candidate they had in their sights or more likely just that they were taking no chances.
It’s not clear why the pair, who were from northern France were in Marseille. The far right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is due to hold a rally in the city on Wednesday.
The two arrested suspects, aged 23 and 29, were known to police for being radicalized and both come from the north of the country.
Sources close to the investigation have told French media they were ready to act “imminently”. They were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected terrorist and arms offences.
France’s Minister of Interior Matthias Fekl said the pair were ready to carry out an attack on French soil “in the next couple of days.”
He provided little details about the alleged plot but said: “Everything would be done to ensure security around the elections”.
France has been on high alert ever since a series of attacks in 2015 and 2016 left over 230 dead in Paris and Nice. The recent attacks in London and Stockholm have only heightened worries.
Authorities have been particularly concerned that jihadists would try to target the presidential election, the first round of which is on Sunday.
Interior Minister Matthias Fekl has announced that 50,000 officers will be mobilized across the country’s 67,000 polling stations to try to prevent any terror attack or other outbreaks of violence by extremist groups.
Source : The Local