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France urges world to act over CAR

20 November 2013, 18:34

Paris - French President Francois Hollande on Monday called on the world to act over violence in the Central African Republic that has raised fears of a sectarian bloodbath in the impoverished country.

Hollande told government ministers the international community "cannot accept the abuses currently taking place, must take action and of course France will take its share of the responsibility for doing so," according to government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

Since interim president Michel Djotodia seized power in a coup in March, the remnants of his Seleka rebel coalition have been sowing chaos across the former French colony.

Djotodia is the first Muslim president in the Christian-majority country, and some of the recent deadly violence has had religious undertones.

Vallaud-Belkacem said the situation in the country, which has been plagued by war and unrest for decades, was "extraordinarily serious".

"As early as next week, or even before that, there could be a new proposal for a resolution at the UN Security Council to support the deployment of an African force, to which France will give all its backing," she said.

Vallaud-Belkacem made no reference to the possibility of France sending more troops to the Central African Republic. France already has about 410 soldiers in the country to protect French nationals.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned the Security Council that armed groups were playing off Christians and Muslims against each other and has supported the establishment of a UN peacekeeping force before the crisis leads to widespread atrocities.



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