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France expresses concern over Central African Republic

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Octobre 14, 2013 (PRETORIA) – French President Francois Hollande has expressed concern that insecurity in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) could negatively affect the entire Great Lakes region.

"There is a political emergency because there is no state[in CAR]," Hollande told reporters on Monday during a joint press conference in Pretoria with South African President Jacob Zuma.

"There is also an emergency at a regional level because there is a risk of spill over,’’ said the French President.

The French President’s remarks comes a day after the French Foreign Affairs Minister, Laurent Fabius, announced that France would increase on its 400 troops currently stationed in Bangui, the CAR capital.

‘‘We will increase our support, especially in the logistics domain, after the United Nations resolutions (are approved). We will also increase troops, a little at first. This will be done before the end of the year," Fabius said.

The African Union (AU) has 2,500 troops in CAR but the force faces resource limitations prompting France to seek a UN security resolution to turn the AU force into a UN peacekeeping force with support from French troops.

CAR has witnessed an increase in violence since the toppling of President François Bozizé in March by the Seleka rebels.

The conflict in CAR between has displaced about 400,000 people from their homes.

In September the UN humanitarian chief, Valeria Amos, warned that unless the chaos in CAR is addressed it could spread to the rest of the Great Lakes region.

"The failure to act now could not only prolong and exacerbate the appalling conditions the people of the Central African Republic have had to endure, but could also see the crisis spread beyond its borders and throughout a region already facing enormous challenges,” she said.

The Central Africa Republic shares borderlines with Chad, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

(ST)

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