AFRICA: U.S. Supplying Airlift in Central African Republic Intervention

December 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm 1 comment

U.S. Providing Airlift

A convoy arrives in Bossangoa. Photo by EMA. Copyright: Ministry of Defence (France)

A convoy arrives in Bossangoa.
Photo by EMA. Copyright: Ministry of Defence (France)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed U.S. Africa Command to begin transporting African Union forces to the Central African Republic (CAR) to assist international relief and peacekeeping operations in the strife-torn nation.

Hagel took that step Monday (December 9) at the request of French Defense Minister Yves Le Drian, whosought “limited assistance from the U.S. Military” to support the United Nations-authorized effort to end the sectarian violence that has left hundreds of Christians and Muslims dead, according to a Pentagon statement.

U.S. aircraft will transport troops from the East African nation of Burundi to joint the French intervention, according to the Defense Department.

France has deployed 1,600 soldiers to the CAR, a former French colony, as part of a U.N.-mandated effort to restore stability in the CAR, where more than 400 people have been reported slain in fighting between Muslims and Christians, the Associated Press reported.

Central African Republic (CIA World Factbook)

Central African Republic
(CIA World Factbook)

The Pentagon said the United States was joining the international effort to stop the violence because “immediate action is required to avert a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in the Central African Republic, and because of our interest in peace and security in the region.”

In a recorded message President Barack Obama has urged the “proud citizens of the Central African Republic” to remain calm amid mounting sectarian violence, the Voice of America reported. The impoverished country began to slide into instability, according to VOA when members of the rebel Seleka movement seized power in March and deposed the CAR President Francois Bozize

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Entry filed under: Africa, Aircraft, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Peacekeeping. Tags: , , , , .

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