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On Monday, a minute of silence was observed at 12 noon Paris time (11 a.m. in Abidjan), at the Residence of France in Abidjan, following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13 that saw at least 129 deaths and hundreds injured. The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, took part in the observance and paid his respects to Georges Serre, French Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire.
At the Residence of France, Adesina spoke with Serre and expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and his solidarity with the Government and people of France. Before leaving for the Residence of France, the President signed a book of condolences at the African Development Bank headquarters alongside Mariano Muñoz Carpena, AfDB Executive Director for France, Spain and Belgium, and Abdenor Brahmi, his Senior Advisor.
In a solemn note to staff over the weekend, Adesina said, “It is with a very heavy heart that I write to convey our deepest condolences to the people of France, on the tragic terrorist attacks that left so many persons dead and injured. I have just returned from France where I met with President Hollande. There was such palpable excitement as we all looked towards COP21. His leadership was visibly infectious. This tragedy, coming just few days after, therefore comes as a terrible shock.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with the Government and people of France during this period of national mourning. On behalf of the African Development Bank Group, I wish to convey our condolences to the members of staff from France and those from nations who lost people in the tragedy. May God comfort you all.”
France declared November 15, 16 and 17 national days of mourning, with flags flying at half-mast on all French interests in Côte d’Ivoire.
AfDB President signs the book of condolences at the Bank headquarters, as Abdenor Brahmi, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director for France, Spain and Belgium, looks on.