France Sends 1,000 Troops to Central African Republic

Image: France Sends 1,000 Troops to Central African Republic Central African Republic security forces patrol in Bangui on Nov. 22.

Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 07:18 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

PARIS — France will send 1,000 troops to Central African Republic (CAR) under an expected U.N.-backed mission to keep growing chaos at bay, the defense minister said Tuesday — boosting the French military presence in Africa for the second time this year.

Jean-Yves Le Drian made the announcement a day after a top U.N. official warned of mass atrocities and possible civil war in CAR, one of the world's poorest countries, which has been in turmoil since rebel groups joined forces in March and overthrew the president.

The rebels have been accused by rights groups of committing scores of atrocities including killings, rapes and conscription of child soldiers.

"It's in collapse and we cannot have a country fall apart like that. There is the violence, massacres and humanitarian chaos that follow a collapse," Le Drian told Europe 1 radio. "It will be a short mission to allow calm and stability to return."

France already has some 420 soldiers in CAR — mostly to protect the airport in the capital Bangui. The country has asked France to increase that force and French diplomats have announced plans to circulate a draft Security Council resolution that will call for additional support for the 3,000-strong force led by the African Union now in the country.

France hopes that a resolution will be passed before the start of a summit in Paris next week focusing on security issues in Africa, French diplomats have said.

The expanded French deployment would happen after that. France would accompany an African force of troops from neighboring countries, and the French mission would be expected to last about six months, Le Drian said.

At the United Nations on Monday, French ambassador Gerard Araud said an increased French deployment would be "a bridging force" until an African force is fully operational — when France would take a back-up role.

France, a former colonial powerhouse in West Africa, has a greater military presence in the region than any other Western country — with thousands of troops in places including Senegal, Chad, Ivory Coast, and Gabon.

In Mali, France has about 2,800 troops taking part in an operation that began after rebels and al-Qaida-linked militants moved to take over the capital last winter.

Le Drian dismissed any comparisons between the Mali and CAR missions.

"In Mali there was an attack of jihadists, terrorists who wanted to transform Mali into a terrorist state. This is a collapse of a country with a potential for religious clashes," he said. "France has international responsibilities."

In a briefing Monday to the Security Council, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the situation in CAR was deteriorating so fast that a U.N. peacekeeping force may soon be the only option.

He said the country is becoming "a breeding ground for extremists and armed groups" and never-before-seen sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rwanda Requires US, Spain Visitor Health Reports

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:25 AM

The U.S. Embassy in Rwanda says that Rwanda's Ministry of Health is requiring visitors who have been in the United State . . .

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials in W. Africa in January

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 09:01 AM

The hunt for an Ebola vaccine will produce data soon about whether two experimental vaccines are safe and could lead to  . . .

Ebola Cases Rise Sharply in Western Sierra Leone

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 07:46 AM

The number of people infected with Ebola in western Sierra Leone, on the other side of the country from where the first  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved