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C. Africa president to ask UN for peacekeeping operation
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Jan 28, 2014


The president of the Central African Republic said Tuesday she would ask the UN for a full-fledged peacekeeping operation, saying the French and African Union troops already deployed to the crisis-hit country were insufficient.

"Abuses are continuing despite the presence of operation Sangaris and MISCA elements," Catherine Samba Panza said on French radio, referring to the French and African operations.

"That means that those forces do not have enough men to reestablish and assure the security of the people," she added.

Samba Panza, who was sworn in last Thursday, took over from former president Michel Djotodia after he was forced out by his regional peers for failing to halt interreligious violence.

On Tuesday, she told RTL radio it would be "reasonable and realistic to ask for a UN peacekeeping operation" to support the around 5,000 African Union and 1,600 French troops already in the country.

"I will do it officially, the letter was drawn up yesterday," she said.

"The priority is to try with the support of the troops present on the ground to urgently reestablish security and to stop the chaos that currently prevails in Bangui."

Her comments followed a UN Security Council decision Tuesday to give European troops backing to use force in the Central African Republic.

The 15-nation council unanimously backed a resolution that allows a proposed European Union contingent to use "all necessary force" to protect civilians.

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