French offensive in CAR may last over six months

Paris, Dec 12: French troops’ mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) is likely to last more than the scheduled six-month period on eventual difficulties to disarm militias and restore security, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday.

“We have never said the operation will last three days. A military operation, it takes time,” said the minister on being asked by French television BFMTV about the French-led military operation duration.

French troops with help of African soldiers had to ensure systematic disarmament of the fighting groups and “… restore security the basic elements of a State which is now in the non-existent to allow political solution”, reported Xinhua quoting the minister Tuesday.

“The objective is six months. But I cannot say weather in six months everything will be restored,” he added.

Last Thursday, French President Francois Hollande ordered the deployment of French troops in its former colony immediately after the UN Security Council authorised France to use force to help African peacekeepers to restore order in the country.

IANS