US joins in as France attempts to disarm rebels in Central African Republic
France started disarming militias in the Central African Republic (CAR) as US announced to deploy military planes in order to restore order and security after bloody sectarian fighting.
Zee Media Bureau
Paris: France started disarming militias in the Central African Republic (CAR) as US announced to deploy its military planes to transport troops from Burundi in order to restore order and security after bloody sectarian fighting plunged the country into spiralling violence, media reported Monday.
Citing its own source, the local broadcaster Europe1 said French troops begun the fighters` disarmament three days after the deployment of French contingent in French former colony under the UN Security Council`s authorisation.
Officials were not immediately available to comment.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday that Seleka fighters and militias in favour of the ousted president Francois Bozize have to hand over their arms even by force.
"First we`ll ask nicely and if they don`t react, we`ll do it by force," he said in an interview on RTL radio, LCI and Le Figaro.
France deployed 1,600 soldiers in the Central African Republic after a wave of violent clashes left hundreds of victims in the capital Bangui, putting the security of the region on edge.
US joins French efforts
US on Monday announced to deploy its military planes to transport troops from Burundi to the Central African Republic as part of a French-led effort to help quell violence there.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel issued such a direction to US AFRICOM to begin transporting forces from Burundi to the Central African Republic, in coordination with France, the Pentagon said.
The request in this regard was made by the French Minister of Defense Yves Le Drian during a telephonic call with Hagel.
"Minister Le Drian requested limited assistance from the United States military to support this international effort. In the near term, France has requested airlift support to enable African forces to deploy promptly to prevent the further spread of sectarian violence in the Central African Republic," Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog said.
Hagel spoke with his French counterpart about the security situation in the CAR, where, under the authority of a UN Security Council Resolution, French forces are assisting the African Union-led international support mission to provide humanitarian assistance and establish an environment that supports a political transition to a democratically elected government.
"The United States is joining the international community in this effort because of our belief that immediate action is required to avert a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in the Central African Republic, and because of our interest in peace and security in the region," Woog said.
"We continue to work to identify additional resources that might be available to help address further requests for assistance to support the international community`s efforts in CAR," the Pentagon official said.
The fighting in CAR began after the government of the majority Christian nation was overthrown by Muslim rebels nine months ago. Muslim rebel groups tied to an alliance organization called Seleka are clashing with Christian fighters.
With Agency Inputs