Mali presents François Hollande with a new camel after the first one was eaten by the family caring for it
John Lichfield has been The Independent's man in Paris since 1997, covering French news. Before that, he was the paper's Foreign Editor and he has also worked in Brussels and Washington. In 1999, he was the UK press Awards Foreign Reporter of the year.
Wednesday 10 April 2013
There was, finally, some good news for President François Hollande today.
Mali’s leaders gave him a new camel to replace one presented to him in February, which was subsequently eaten by the family he had left it in the care of in Timbuktu.
“As as soon as we heard of this, we quickly replaced it with a bigger and better-looking camel,” a Malian government official is reported to have said. “The new camel will be sent to Paris. We are ashamed of what happened to the (old) camel. It was a present that did not deserve this fate.”
President Hollande was given the first camel as a gift when he visited Mali the month after France’s successful military intervention in January to prevent Islamist groups from invading the south of the country. It greeted its new master with ear-piercing howls.
Mr Hollande joked at the time that he would use the camel instead of a limousine to negotiate the streets of Paris.
However, he chose to leave the animal with a family living on the edge of Timbuktu, which apparently made it into tagine.
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 The 20 toughest job interview questions in the world
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...