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World Diplomacy European Union French President: “France won’t intervene in Central Africa”

French President: “France won’t intervene in Central Africa”

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French President: “France won’t intervene in Central Africa”
French President: “France won’t intervene in Central Africa”
President Francois Hollande says French forces would not intervene in the internal affairs of the Central African Republic (CAR), a former French colony.  "If we are present, it is not to protect a regime, it is to protect our nationals and our interests, and in no way to intervene in the internal affairs of a country, in this case Central Africa," Hollande said on Thursday. "Those days are gone."  Over the past few weeks, Seleka rebels have seized large areas of Central African Republic's territory.

On December 23, the rebels took control of the south-central city of Bambari, located on the Ouaka River, during operations against government forces.  On December 19, Chadian troops entered the Central African Republic after the CAR government asked Chad to help repel the rebel offensive, which began on December 10.
The French president made the remarks a day after furious demonstrators gathered near the French embassy in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, to protest against the 'inaction' of France over the issue of rebels.  Outraged protesters hurled projectiles and tore down French flags in front of the embassy.  Reports say angry protestors also held a sit-in in front of the US embassy in Bangui on Wednesday.

Hollande also stated that France would not intervene to assist displaced people or refugees "if there is a UN mandate," adding, "This is not the case."  "Generally speaking, we are always in favor of civilians being protected and we will do what is our duty."

Since the end of colonization in the 1960s, French troops have been stationed in western Africa, where rebels fight against the governments in the region.  The Central African Republic, with a population of less than five million, has experienced frequent coups and mutinies.

The rebels have threatened to overthrow President Francois Bozize, who seized power in a coup in 2003. They accuse Bozize of breaching the terms of peace deals reached with various rebel factions between 2007 and 2011.


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