Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Clashes in Central African Republic threaten French security interests

At least 55 people died in the Central African Republic September 7-8 in battles between gunmen loyal to former President Francois Bozize and the ex-rebels who removed him from power, according to the government and a regional peacekeeper, Reuters reported September 9...The fighting occurred near Bossangoa, the former president's home region, and area about 300 kilometres north of the capital Bangui...Increasing clashes between loyalists and rebels are forcing France to consider bolstering its peacekeeping troops in the CAR, centred around the Bangui M’Poko International Airport...Presently, there are too few troops to supply adequate protection of other strategic points in Bangui should a speedy evacuation of French and Western nationals become necessary...The government of current President Michel Djotodia is attempting to maintain control of the nation’s capital as loyalists and other factions vie for influence, and responsibility for stability ultimately lies with Mr Djotodia...While the violence has so far been between rebel groups, French and African Union peacekeepers could be targeted in the future if they are viewed as part of the problem, rather than as part of the solution.

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