Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Romain Nadal, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, november 14th 2013)
Cameroon – Kidnapping of a French priest (November 14, 2013)
The minister of foreign affairs confirms that one of our compatriots was kidnapped in Cameroon in the early hours of Thursday.
Mr. Georges Vandenbeusch, the parish priest of Nguetchewe, was near Koza in the extreme north of Cameroon, 30 kilometers from the border with Nigeria. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Crisis Center classifies this area as a red zone ; travel there was strongly discourageddue to the risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings.
With full knowledge of the facts, Father Georges chose to remain in his parish in order to fulfill his duties.
Investigations are being carried out in order to establish the circumstances behind his kidnapping and to identify the kidnappers. We’re doing everything possible, in collaboration with the Cameroon authorities, to secure his release.
Do you confirm the kidnapping of a French priest in Cameroon ?
Please refer to the statement we’ve just made.
Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Paris, November 13, 2013)
Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met yesterday with Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
During this meeting, Mr. Laurent Fabius reaffirmed France’s support for the high commissioner’s efforts to promote and protect human rights, a priority for French foreign policy.
The human rights situation in several countries was discussed in detail :
with respect to Syria, Mr. Fabius and Ms. Pillay agreed that the conflict could only be resolved through a political solution, which would have to take into consideration respect for human rights and the need to combat impunity ;
with respect to Mali, they confirmed the importance of deploying human rights observers on the ground ;
lastly, with respect to the Central African Republic, they reaffirmed the need to mobilize the international community given the deterioration in the situation.
Nicaragua – French-German Human Rights Prize – Visit to Paris by the director of theprize-winning association (November 13 to 15, 2013)
The French-German Human Rights Prize in Nicaragua was awarded this year to the "Movimiento de Mujeres de Chinandega," whose director, Ms. Maria del Carmen Castillo, is currently visiting Paris. The French-German Human Rights Prize, awarded by several of our diplomatic posts, ispresented every year to a human rights organization whose action deserves our support.
"Movimiento de Mujeres de Chinandega" was created in 1992 and works to promote the protection of women in Nicaragua. It established the first early warning system to protect against gender violence and the trafficking of women. Thanks to the support of the French NGO "Télécoms sans frontiers," a text message alert system is being implemented.
During her visit to Paris, Ms. Maria del Carmen Castillo will be received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Ms. Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, Ambassador for Human Rights. She will also meet with several French personalities, including Ms. Yvette Roudy, former Minister for Women’s Rights, and Ms. Ernestine Ronai, Head of the Observatory on Violence against Women.