Wednesday, July 14, 2010

C'est le 14 Juillet: African Veterans to Get Same Benefits as their French Colleagues!

Over at Secret Defense, Jean Dominique Merchet reports that African veterans who served with French forces during WWII, Korea, Indochina, and Algeria will now get the same benefits as their colleagues. President Sarkozy (who is in need of some positive spin--have you read about the whole Bettencourt "affaire"? It's a trip), in honor of the Fete Nationale du 14 Juillet, has announced a 150 million Euro program to ensure that African veterans now receive the same level benefits, regardless of where they now live.

Why is this such a big deal? Because, as the BBC explains, until now, African soldiers were only payed a pension worth one tenth to one fifth of what their French colleagues got. Back in May, the Conseil Constitutionnel (the Constitutional Council) declared that practice illegal so now Sarko is presenting legislation to the Assemblee Nationale and the law should go into effect in January.

Oh, and did you see that soldiers from 13 African countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Sénégal, Tchad and Togo) joined French forces today on the Champs Elysees for the Annual Defile du 14 Juillet? It was apparently pouring rain most of the time but this created a lot of buzz too--not all of those leaders have the best human rights records and Sarkozy was criticized both for colonial nostalgia and for granting them the honor of parading.

Bon 14 Juillet les amis!

1 comment:

  1. French African troops were notorious rapists throughout Italy and in Stuttgart. I'm using a broad brush, but investigations should be done to exclude funds going to brutes.