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Africa

Other European countries to help in CAR, says France

© AFP

Latest update : 2013-12-18

Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, announced on Tuesday that other European countries would deploy ground troops to the violence-hit Central African Republic, without identifying them.

"We will soon have troops on the ground provided by our European colleagues," Fabius told the lower house of the French National Assembly, days after he decided to seek help from the rest of Europe with its former colony, where France has deployed a 1,600-strong force to quell brutal sectarian violence.

"I want to underline this because this is one of the first times this has happened," he added.

His ministry confirmed that other European countries were preparing to send troops to the Central Africa Republic, but refused to name which countries.

In a radio interview on Sunday, however, Fabius had said that Poland, Britain, Germany, Spain and Belgium were already helping with logistics.

Asked at the time whether some of these five states may go further and send troops to prop up French and African forces already on the ground, he said "two of them are currently considering (this)", without elaborating.

Central Africa has spiralled into chaos since a March coup by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel group overthrew president Francois Bozize, with deadly violence pitting Muslims against Christians.

Faced with reports of widespread atrocities in Central Africa, France on December 5 decided to deploy its force to prop up an African peacekeeping force already on the ground.

These have since been disarming former Seleka members as well as armed Christian militia. Two French paratroopers have been killed since the start of the operation.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2013-12-17

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