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Mali Will Give France's François Hollande A New Camel, After The First Was Eaten

As a thank you for sending French troops to repel Islamist rebels out of Mali, the government gifted President François Hollande a small camel.

As The Guardian tells the story, this was back in February and Hollande was intent on bringing the camel back to France.

"He joked at the time about using the animal to get around traffic-jammed Paris," The Guardian reports. "But he chose in the end to leave it with a family in the town on the edge of the Sahara desert."

Unfortunately, The Telegraph reports, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's defense minister, said "the family apparently wasted no time slaughtering the animal and putting it in a traditional tagine."

But not to worry. The Guardian reports that a government official from Mali says they will replace the old camel with "a bigger and better looking camel."

"The new camel will be sent to Paris," the official said. "We are ashamed of what happened to the camel. It was a present that did not deserve this fate."

We'll leave you with a remembrance. It's video of Hollande receiving his gift:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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