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Africa

France to boost Central African Republic troop presence

media Violence in Bangui's streets AFP

France is to send hundreds more troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) as Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warns that the former French colony is "on the verge of genocide". The UN is to debate authorising African and French troops to intervene.

 

France is planning to significantly increase its contingent in Central African Republic, where it already has 400 soldiers to protect the airport in Bangui and French nationals, while planning troop withdrawal from Mali shortly after the parliamentary elections to be held on Sunday.

Dossier: War in Mali

Fabius recently said that troop neumbers in CAR would be raised to 1,200.

Guinean President Alpha Condé on Thursday announced his country would send 900 troops to reinforce the UN forces in Mali over the next four months.

The UN Security Council is to vote in a few days on a resolution that would allow CAR's neighbours, the African Union and France to intervene in the country, where Seleka rebels ousted out president François Bozizé eight months ago and put Muslim leader Michel Djototia in power.

A regional peacekeaping force, known as Misma, is currently deployed but its 2,500 soldiers are hampered by lack of funds, arms and training.

On Monday UN leader Ban Ki-Moon called up for up to 6,000 more international troops.

The UN will consider authorising African and French troops to intervene in early December and Paris is to host a summit with 40 African heads of state to boost an African Union force in CAR on 6-7 December.

The United States also called for deeper international involvement this week and unveilled a 30 milion euros of funding to try to halt violence in the country, where 400,000 people have been displaced since the rebellion started and 2,3 million are in need of assistance.

 CAR was a French colony from the late 19th century until 1960.

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