PARIS, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Two French soldiers have been killed in the Central African Republic, where France has deployed 1,600 soldiers to help restore security, the French presidency said on Tuesday.
The two soldiers were seriously injured during a clash with gunmen in the capital of Bangui Monday night after French troops started disarming rebels. The two victims succumbed to their injuries overnight.
"The president expresses his deep respect for the sacrifice of these two soldiers and renews his full support for the French forces alongside African forces as they restore security in the Central African Republic, protect the people and guarantee access to humanitarian aid," the Elysee said in a statement.
With the back of the UN Security Council, France launched last weekend an immediate military operation in its former colony to stop violent clashes between Muslim and Christian rebels that left hundreds of people dead and forced thousands others to flee the capital.
The first French casualties came before French President Francois Hollande was due to make a brief and surprise visit to the country on his way back from South Africa, where he attends a ceremony to honor late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
PARIS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Central African Republic's Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye expressed optimism to get the African country out of political vacuum and end the month-long bloodshed.
"Of course, I think we are heading towards an exit from the crisis... I am, of course, optimistic, although the situation is very difficult. But there is never a problem without a solution..." Tiangaye told Xinhua in an interview after the Africa-France peace and security summit in Paris last Friday and Saturday. Full story
PARIS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- France started disarming militias in the Central African Republic in order to restore order and security after bloody sectarian fighting plunged the country into spiralling violence, local media reported on Monday.
Citing its own source, the local broadcaster Europe1 said French troops begun the fighters' disarmament three days afer the deployment of French contingent in French former colony under the UN Security Council's authorisation. Full story