France to send 400 more soldiers to CAR

Paris, Feb 15: France will send 400 more soldiers to the Central African Republic (CAR) where sectarian clashes are ongoing despite the deployment of French and African forces to restore order, President Francois Hollande’s office said Friday.

At the end of a defence meeting at the Elysee on the situation in its former colony, France decided to increase “temporarily” the number of its servicemen to 2,000 where already 1,600 have been deployed in the violence-torn African country, Xinhua quoted the Elysee as saying in a statement.

At the request of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to boost troops in the CAR, Paris was due to pour additional soldiers of combat forces and gendarmes in the country, according to the president’s office.

Reiterating the military operation’s objective “to stop the massacres, to prevent war crimes and to restore the population’s security”, Hollande stressed that “all enemies of peace will be fought” and “there will be no impunity for those who commit crimes.”

He also urged the deployment of peacekeepers in the CAR and humanitarian intervention after the country has plunged into chaos since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March, leading to tit-for-tat clashes with “anti-Balaka” militia formed by the Christian majority.