French troops in the Central African Republic have begun disarming Christian and Muslim militias as part of a UN-backed mission to re-establish security in the impoverished and largely lawless country.
They are quickly confronting the staggering challenges of this task.
Muslims accuse the French of unfairly targeting former Seleka rebels as they confiscate machetes, handguns and rifles. But Christian anti-balaka militias say the opposite is true.
Groups on both sides are hiding their weapons from roaming French army convoys that comb through Bangui and its surroundings every day in search of arms.
French soldiers say they realise the situation is complex, sometimes allowing villagers to keep their knives and machetes. These weapons are residents’ last defence against possible raids on their homes and families.
Watch FRANCE 24’s exclusive video report on disarming Central African militias by clicking in the player above.
Date created : 2013-12-20