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Africa

Valls promises not to abandon CAR as violence erupts with Sangaris end

media Minusca troops in PK5 last year Reuters/Siegfried Modola

Violence hit the Central African Republic (CAR) capital, Bangui, on Sunday eveing as France's Sangaris peacekeeping operation wound up. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has told RFI that France will not abandon the CAR.

About 10 people were killed in infighting between "self-defence" groups in the Muslim district PK5 on Sunday evening, according to local sources.

Earlier reports put the death toll at four.

Residents continued to flee the area on Monday morning.

France's Operation Sangaris started three years ago, aiming to end sectarian bloodletting between armed Christian and Muslim gangs following the toppling of president françois Bozizé.

Some 350 French troops will remain as security is left in the hands of the UN's Minusca force.

"France will keep its commitment to the CAR," Valls told RFI while on a visit to Côte d'Ivoire Sunday. "There is no question of leaving this country alone."

Government alleges plot

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was to meet President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and address the CAR parliament on Monday.

Violence in the centre of the country cost 25 lives two days before his trip.

"Machiavellian plan hatched by the enemies of peace" is targeting people in Bossangoa, Bozoum and Bocaranga in the north of the country, a government statement claimed.

"We are very worried about the serious incidents in the last few days," Valls said in his RFI interview.

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