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Africa

France wants European help in CAR

Paris to seek support from European nations for the UN mission amid falling support for the intervention at home.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2013 15:06
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More than 600 people have been killed since the start of the violence in March [Reuters]

France will ask for more help from its European partners to bolster its peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said.

The UN-authorised mission has helped restore some calm to the capital Bangui, but Fabius said on Sunday that violence could resume in a worsening humanitarian situation for tens of thousands of refugees.

"That is a real, big problem," Fabius told Europe 1 radio. 

"Tomorrow, I'll go to the Council of Foreign Ministers and I will ask (European partners) for stepped-up, more robust aid, including on the ground."

France has deployed 1,600 troops to the African country to prevent escalating bloodshed between largely Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted ex-President Francois Bozize in March and Christian militias fighting against them.

A senior African Union (AU) official told the Reuters news agency on Friday that the AU had authorised an increase in the force deployed to CAR from 2,500 to 6,000 troops.

Falling support

While European nations including Poland, Britain, Germany, Spain and Belgium have provided various forms of assistance, French troops are intervening alone.

Support at home for the French intervention has fallen a poll showed on Saturday, days after two French soldiers were killed in a firefight during a patrol in Bangui.

More than 600 people have been killed and 159,000 displaced in the fighting, according to the UN's refugee agency.

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Source:
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