The French will keep troops in CAR even longer

French troops will stay in CAR ‘longer’

Sat, 15 Feb 2014 21:07:21 GMT

The French Defense Ministry says the country’s intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR) could take “longer than planned.”

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made the remarks on Saturday, saying, a military operation “cannot run like clockwork.”

“It has to be adapted, situations have to be taken into account and security needs met depending on events,” Le Drian said, adding, “I think it will be longer than planned because the degree of hatred and violence is worse than we imagined.”

In early December, French President Francois Hollande said the country’s military presence in CAR would be brief.

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

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 but many believe that the French troops, known as Sangaris, target Muslims and turn a blind eye on Christian militia.

France, which already has 1,600 soldiers CAR, is about to dispatch 400 more soldiers to the violence-ridden country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that Berlin was also interested in military presence in CAR and Mali.

On Tuesday, Le Drian called on the deployed forces to stop attacks by militias in CAR “by force if needed.”

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