Paris, France - The Felix Houphouet Boigny prize for peace has been awarded to French President François Hollande, in recognition of his contribution to peace and stability in Africa.
'After an in-depth look into the current situation the world is in, Africa with its various security threats retained the attention of the panel,' said the award jury, under the chairmanship of former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano.
'Also, after an analysis of the various crises, in particular the Malian crisis and its possible consequences on the rest of the world, the panel was forced to acknowledge the solidarity which France showed toward the African peoples,' it said.
The jury condemned the violation of Mali's territorial integrity, the human rights abuses, the kidnappings and the destruction of Timbuktu's priceless cultural heritage by the armed Islamists that occupied the northern part of Mali for about 10 months.
The Houphouet Boigny prize was created in 1989 to honour persons or institutions which have contributed in a significant manner to the promotion of peace and its consolidation, in line with the UN Charter and UNESCO principles.
Past winners included Nelson Mandela and Frederick De Klerk of South Africa, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and former Brazilian President Inazio Lula da Silva.
No date has yet been fixed for the conferment of the award to President Hollande.