Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

France likely to extend mission in C.African Republic—minister - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Catherine Samba-Panza (R), interim president of the Central African Republic, shakes hands with the General of the French peacekeeping military operation in the the country Francisco Soriano before her address to the Central African Army Forces (FACA) at the National College of Administration and Magistrature in the capital Bangui February 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Siegfried Modola)

Catherine Samba-Panza (R), interim president of the Central African Republic, shakes hands with the general of the French peacekeeping military operation in the the country, Francisco Soriano, before her address to the Central African Army Forces in the capital, Bangui, on February 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Siegfried Modola)

Paris, Reuters—French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday the United Nations would probably have to renew a French mandate for French troops to restore order in Central African Republic when it expires in May.

France deployed 1,600 troops there in December to try to stem violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted President François Bozizé last March.

Catherine Samba-Panza, the interim president, says she hopes to restore order within a month, though Human Rights Watch has warned Seleka fighters who fled the capital Bangui have regrouped in the northeast and begun attacks on civilians.

Government soldiers lynched a man in the capital on Wednesday whom they suspected of having been a rebel, underscoring security concerns in a country that plans to hold elections in February next year.

Asked during an RTL radio interview whether France’s six-month UN mandate, granted on December 5, would have to be renewed, Le Drian said: “Probably.”

The defense minister said that the French mission helped ease tensions and that the situation was improving day by day.

“The situation in Bangui has more or less stabilized,” Le Drian said. “In the rest of the country it is much more complicated.”

The European Union agreed last month to send around 500 troops to Central African Republic to support the French–African mission there.

French troops intervened alone for the second time last year after ousting Islamist rebels in Mali, another former African colony.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube