WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United States commended and supported France-sponsored military actions aimed at restoring security in Central African Republic (CAR), the State Department said on Friday.
"We believe that France's strong leadership in committing 800 additional troops and their support to the African Union-led stabilization mission in the CAR (MISCA) sends a forceful message to all parties that the violence must end," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement.
France had begun to deploy troops at the airport of Bangui, capital of the CAR, as part of a UN-backed operation to quell violence between Christians and Muslims, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday.
The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved the African Union's International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA) to protect civilians and provide security in the nation tottering on the brink of anarchy.
Harf said, "We are deeply concerned by the worsening violence in the CAR, which has resulted in a growing humanitarian crisis and increased the risk of mass atrocities."
Washington will provide 40 million dollars in equipment, training and logistical support to MISCA and stand ready to assist the African Union and France, Harf said.
With a population of 4.6 million, CAR has been haunted by instability and poverty since its independence from France in 1960. It is listed by the UN as one of the poorest in the world despite its rich resources.
The former French colony has plunged into chaos since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March, leading to tit-for-tat clashes with "anti-Balaka" militia formed by the Christian majority.