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A French helicopter and three French soldiers were shot down on Sunday by Libyan militia - photo by AFP / Getty Images
An Islamist militia has shot down a French helicopter in Libya killing three French soldiers says French president Francois Hollande. 

The attack occurred on Sunday outside of the city of Benghazi, and these reports now confirm that France has sent special forces to Libya.


First reports of the attack were made on Tuesday by unnamed military officials who said they were unauthorized to inform the media.


Since its 2011 uprising and NATO-intervention, Libya's government has been fragmented and has competing military and governmental groups.


A militia called Defending Benghazi Brigade, a rival of General Khalifa Hifter, the head of armed forces based in Libya's east, has taken responsibility for the attack.


Vocabulary
militia - an army of non-professional soldiers

confirm - to be sure about the truth (by having proof)
forces - here, this means 'military power'
unauthroized - officially not allowed
intervention - the act of coming between two or more groups to stop them
fragmented - divided into may parts / pieces
to compete - to oppose another group and try to win 

 
 
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King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame - photo by Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP
In a message to the African Union (AU) at their summit in Kigali, Rwanda on Sunday, the king of Morocco Mohammed VI said "the moment has now come" for Morocco to retake its place in the AU, expressing the country's desire to rejoin the union after leaving 32 years before.

Morocco left the AU in 1984 after the organization recognized Western Sahara as an independent state. Morocco regards Western Sahara as apart of their southern provinces and even threatened to pull out its military troops from United Nations global peacekeeping missions because of the dispute over the area. 

Morocco sent a special envoy to the summit this weekend to lobby for their request.

The AU has said that it will continue to support a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara.


Vocabulary

to recognize (verb) - to acknowledge / accept the existence or state of something
to regard (verb) - to look as / to look upon
dispute (noun) - an ongoing conflict / disagreement

envoy (noun) - a messenger or representative 
to lobby (verb) - to try to influence or change a group's decisions on an issue
self-determination (noun) - self-rule; independence;  controlling your own life