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Hollande announces immediate troop deployment to Central African Republic

Hollande announces immediate troop deployment to Central African Republic
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President Francois Hollande announced on Thursday that French-led troops will be deployed immediately to Central African Republic.

The UN security council authorised intervention to protect civilians as Muslim-Christian sectarian violence threatens to escalate into widespread civilian massacres.

French President François Hollande said: “We already have 600 French soldiers in the country. We’re going to double that amount in a few days, or even hours. France’s only objective is to save human lives,” he said.

More than 1,000 French troops have been waiting at the border with Cameroon ready to deploy.

They will join more than 600 French soldiers based at the capital Bangui’s airport as well as African Union forces.

The UN vote came on a ferocious day of clashes, when more than 100 people were killed in the capital. Many of the dead appeared to have been clubbed or hacked to death.

UN officials warn that Central African Republic is at risk of spiraling into genocide. The United Nations estimates that 400,000 people have been forced from their homes because of the religious fighting.

The former French colony has slipped into chaos since mainly Muslim rebels seized power in March, leading to sectarian violence.