The Republic of Congo has sent 200 more soldiers to join a peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic, following an
upsurge in violence earlier this month.

General Blanchard Okoye, the armed forces chief of staff, urged the soldiers to be disciplined during a ceremony on Sunday marking their departure.

The troops will join 150 other Congolese soldiers who were deployed in July under the banner of a regional force that is now being transformed into a 3,600-member international peacekeeping mission.

The security situation in the Central African Republic remains dire six months after the Seleka coalition of rebels ousted Francois Bozize, the former president, and installed Michel Djotodia as the new leader.

The latest developments come two days after a presidential decree announced the disbanding of the Seleka rebel alliance which brought Djotodia to power.

Since the ousting of Bozize, the rebels have been accused of turning into a band of thugs, looting and killing civilians. Djotodia has tried to distance himself from them.

The decree from Djotodia's office on Friday said that Seleka "is dissolved over the length and breadth of the Central African Republic's territory. ... any individual or group of individuals who act in the name of Seleka ... after the publication of the present decree ... will expose themselves to the full sanctions available under law.''

Source: Agencies