France holds meeting on Bangui crisis

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IOL pic dec10 car bangui french troops on patrol Reuters French soldiers patrol on foot in Bangui, in the Central African Republic. Picture: Herve Serefio

Paris -

France is set to hold a meeting of its top defence committee on Friday regarding the Central African Republic. The country will also host Chad's President Idriss Deby later in the day, the French presidency said.

The meeting of the limited defence committee - which includes President Francois Hollande and top ministers - is to take place at 10h00 GMT and Hollande will then hold talks with Deby, who has a powerful influence over events in the CAR, in Paris at 17h00 GMT.

Hollande on Thursday called for the United Nations to fast-track the deployment of peacekeepers to the CAR to help stem sectarian unrest.

France currently has 1 600 troops in the country and the African Union force MISCA more than 5 000. But they have been unable to stem widespread looting and a cycle of revenge attacks between Muslim and Christian fighters.

The CAR plunged into chaos following a coup in March 2013 led by the Seleka rebel movement, with violence breaking out between mostly Muslim ex-rebels and the Christian-dominated militias known as the anti-balaka. - Sapa-AFP



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