The Central African Republic since French intervention

9th December 2013, Comments 0 comments

A snapshot of developments in the Central African Republic since France ordered troops into its former colony on Thursday in a bid to stem bloodletting there.

Unrest started when Seleka rebel leader Michel Djotodia seized power in a March coup, unseating Francois Bozize.

--DECEMBER 2013--

- 5: France orders an additional 600 troops into the Central African Republic, doubling the force it already has in and around the capital Bangui, shortly after the UN Security Council issues a green light for the military intervention.

The intervention comes hours after a sectarian bloodbath left more than 400 dead in three days in the troubled nation.

A curfew is extended.

- 6: The French military operation has started with its soldiers patrolling in Bangui, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says.

- 7: France says all 1,200 French troops pledged for the UN-mandated force have now deployed after a 200-strong contingent of reinforcements crosses the border from neighbouring Cameroon.

French President Francois Hollande says the number of French troops will rise to 1,600 by the evening, and that the force will seek to disarm the militias and other armed groups blamed for a spiral of violence.

He says they will stay in the country "as long as necessary" and until elections are held.

The French presidency says the African Union is to nearly double the number of its own troops in the Central African Republic.

- 8: French soldiers patrol the whole of the capital.

"The period of impunity is over Le Drian says.

Near to the airport a French patrol fires back after coming under fire. On the 5th French troops killed four armed men in a clash near the airport.

- 9: French troops begin disarming rebel fighters in Bangui.

French troops briefly exchange gunfire with armed men near the international airport, but no casualties are reported.

© 2013 AFP

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