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Africa

CAR president calls for French military to stay until 2015

media Red Cross employees bury victims of violence in Bangui on Monday Reuters/Luc Gnago

The president of the Central African Republic (CAR) has called for French troops to prolong their in the country until elections due in early 2015, French MPs reported after meeting her in Bangui on Monday. Chad's President Idriss Déby on Tuesday called for a UN force to be sent.

CAR Interim President Catherine Samba Panza told a delegation of French parliamentarians that the Sangaris force should stay until early next year three days after Paris decided to boost its contingent to 2,000.

"The interim president told us that they should stay until the elections, that is to stay until early 2015," French MP Elisabeth Guigou said during a visit by French MPs on Monday.

Sectarian violence continues, with eight reported killed in a clash between soldiers of the African intervention force, Misca, and Christian anti-balaka militias near the Cameroon border on Sunday and at least 22 reported killed, probably by Muslim Séléka rebels, in the western town of Bang.

Congo's President Denis Sasso-Nguesso told French newspaper Le Figaro that the international force needed to be 10,000, compared to 6,000 at the moment.

And Deby for the first time said that the UN should send troops after Samba Panza visited him on Tuesday.

"We need more men, more resources," he said. "Only the UN can provide them. We have to turn to a UN force."

Up until now Deby has called for Misca to be given more time to resolve the conflict.

The Chadian president also called for negotiations with the Séléka to avoid the partition of the country.

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