Tourists freed, French soldiers killed
In Burkino Faso two French soldiers were killed in an operation to free four tourists. Two French people were kidnapped in Benin last week and transported across the border. When special forces stormed the kidnappers' camp, they also encountered a South Korean and an American woman. France discusses whether the holidaymakers are to blame.
The army has other work to do
Le Figaro is outraged at how soldiers are being used:
“We have known for a long time that the Sahel region is popular with muggers and micro Islamic groups. Highwaymen and emulators of al-Qaida and IS gather there to establish their dominance. France alone has taken it upon itself to fight this terrible reality. ... This tragic event should serve as a warning to our fellow citizens. Our military is in Africa to wage a long and hard war, not to pay the price for inconsequential action. The predominant feeling now is not relief but indignation. Our soldiers should never be placed in a trap like that again.”
Tourism as resistance
We should not forget that tourism can help in countries plagued by terrorism, Laurent Joffrin, editor-in-chief at Libération interjects:
“We are not recommending here that people ignore the Foreign Ministry's warnings about avoiding danger zones. We are just reminding people that travelling in certain besieged countries can be a form of resistance. For countries plagued by terrorism visitors are a blessing - not just for economic reasons but also in terms of morale. They help the local economy and provide a connection to the world. This form of tourism is also a refusal to give in to the killers. Incidentally, the army ended its polemic with the words: 'If we have to do it again, we will do it again.' A battle cry.”