British military to support French effort in CAR

Dec. 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Friday his government is supporting a French-led effort to help bring stability to the Central African Republic.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Thursday authorizing the African Union and French military to respond to an escalating crisis in CAR.

"We are determined to play our part in helping to address the violence," Hague said in a statement Friday. "We have therefore agreed with the government of France that we will help move French equipment to CAR by means of a U.K. C17 transport aircraft."

The French air force said Friday it was operating under the U.N. mandate to support an African-led peacekeeping mission in CAR. It said a C17 transport left Friday to transport military equipment to Bangui. It's the first of three airlifts to help support AU troops in their effort to stabilize CAR.

The French military statement Friday said CAR, a former colony of France, has descended into chaos since the Seleka rebel coalition, a Sunni group, toppled the government in March. This has lead to "tit-for-tat sectarian violence with the Christian majority," the military statement said.

The European Union, in a separate statement, said it endorsed an AU request for $68 million to help support the African-led mission in CAR.

At least 120 people were killed in Bangui amid fighting between rival Muslim and Christian militias Thursday.

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