Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

Africa

CAR intervention will be 'easier than Mali', says France

© Photo: AFP

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-27

France said Tuesday it will send at least 1,000 troops to the Central African Republic to bolster regional peace-keeping forces. France’s UN ambassador told FRANCE 24 the operation would "probably be easier” than the military intervention in Mali.

France said on Tuesday it would increase its force in Central African Republic (CAR) to at least 1,000 soldiers once a UN resolution is passed next week to try to prevent sectarian violence from destabilising the entire region.

The landlocked nation of 4.6 million people at the heart of Africa has descended into chaos since the Séléka coalition of rebels, many of them from neighbouring Chad and Sudan, ousted President François Bozizé in March.

TENS OF THOUSANDS FLEE CAR VIOLENCE

Séléka leader Michel Djotodia, installed as an interim president, has failed to control his mostly Muslim fighters, who have preyed upon the mainly Christian population, unleashing a wave of tit-for-tat killings.

“This is a real humanitarian concern,” France’s ambassador to the UN Gérard Araud told FRANCE 24 on Tuesday.  “The CAR is collapsing and it could lead to mass atrocities, with each community trying to slaughter the other. What you have right now in the CAR, on both sides, are thugs who are raping and plundering. We need to restore law and order.”

“But here we are up against armed thugs, not an organised opposition,” he added. “It will probably be easier than military intervention in Mali was.”

Araud said that French troops in CAR would restore law and order until the 3,600-strong MISCA force was fully operational. The African Union is due to take control next month of a 2,500-strong contingent already deployed by the Economic Community of Central African States.

France, which presides over the 15-member UN Security Council in December, hopes a resolution for international intervention in its mineral-rich former colony can be adopted next week.

France now has 400 troops in the riverside capital Bangui, securing the international airport and French interests. Central African Republic Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye told Reuters on Monday after a meeting with Fabius in Paris that France aimed to boost its force by 800 soldiers.

Asked about the figure of 800 additional troops, Fabius said the number “makes sense”.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian later told Europe 1 radio that France would support a planned African-led force with “around 1,000” troops. He did not specify whether that was the size of the reinforcement or the total number.

In Bangui, Djotodia welcomed France’s determination to send troops, saying he had personally written to French President François Hollande to request military support.

“They have to come to help us. It is important,” Djotodia told Reuters after a meeting with civil society groups.

The United Nations estimates that 400,000 people have been displaced and 68,000 have fled to neighbouring countries due to the spiralling violence.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-11-26

  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    France to increase troop presence in CAR

    Read more

  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    UN warns Central African Republic at risk of 'genocide'

    Read more

  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    Exclusive report: Central African Republic on the brink

    Read more

COMMENT(S)