WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military will offer airlift support to African forces to the Central African Republic, where sectarian violence has flared up, said Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog in a statement Monday.
According to the statement, French Minister of Defense Yves Le Drian raised the issue with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Sunday in Kabul, Afghanistan. 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 in Central Africa.
Le Drian requested assistance from Hagel 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, said the statement.
Hagel has directed U.S. Africa Command to begin transporting forces from Burundi to the Central African Republic, in coordination with France, said the statement.