France starts disarming rebels in CAR

Paris, Dec 10: France started disarming militias in the Central African Republic (CAR) in order to restore order and security after bloody sectarian fighting plunged the country into spiralling violence, media reported Monday.

Citing its own source, the local broadcaster Europe1 said French troops begun the fighters’ disarmament three days afer the deployment of French contingent in French former colony under the UN Security Council’s authorisation.

Officials were not immediately available to comment.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday that Seleka fighters and militias in favour of the ousted president Francois Bozize have to hand over their arms even by force.

“First we’ll ask nicely and if they don’t react, we’ll do it by force,” he said in an interview on RTL radio, LCI and Le Figaro.

France deployed 1,600 soldiers in the Central African Republic after a wave of violent clashes left hundreds of victims in the capital Bangui, putting the security of the region on edge.

IANS