French forces are no longer needed in CAR

‘No more French forces needed in CAR’

Tue, 07 Jan 2014 23:41:20 GMT

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says Paris does not need to send more troops to the Central African Republic.

“Given the current state of things, there are no particular reasons to send reinforcements” to the African country, Le Drian said during a visit to an airbase in southern France on Tuesday.

The number of required French troops can be determined in February when the UN-backed African force gains full strength, he noted.

The Central African Republic spiraled into chaos in March last year when Seleka fighters overthrew President Francois Bozizé and brought Michel Djotodia to power. Bozizé fled the country after his ouster.

On September 13, 2013, Djotodia dissolved the Seleka coalition. Some of the rebels later joined the country’s regular army while some defied.

France invaded its former colony on December 5, 2013, after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.

France has deployed 1,600 troops in the country, but the UN-backed intervention force, which includes about 4,000 African Union peacekeepers, is struggling to restore security in the African Republic.

Paris claims the aim of the mission is to create stability in the country in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach violence-hit areas.

There are many mineral resources, including gold and diamond, in the Central African Republic. However, the country is extremely poor and has faced a series of rebellions and coups since it gained independence in 1960.

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