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CAR Prime Minister Welcomes EU Troops

  • VOA News

Central Afrcan Republic new Prime Minister Andre Nzapayeke speaks a handover ceremony in Bangui on January 28, 2014.

Central Afrcan Republic new Prime Minister Andre Nzapayeke speaks a handover ceremony in Bangui on January 28, 2014.

The Central African Republic's new interim prime minister Andre Nzapayeke says he is pleased by the U.N. Security Council's approval of a plan to allow about 500 European troops to deploy to the country.

The additional forces will join French and African troops already stationed in the CAR to help what the council called the "continuing deteriorating security situation."

Nzapayeke told VOA on Wednesday that violence has become a business and that it will take time to address the crisis.

He said there is a need to rebuild the country, calling for a "Marshall Plan for CAR" a reference to the U.S. aid initiative to help rebuild Europe after World War II.

He also sought to reassure those who have criticized his Cabinet for having members of both the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels and the Christian militias known as anti-balaka. Nzapayeke said all the ministers are "here for the republic."

The country descended into unrest after rebels topped President Francois Bozize, last year.

More than 1,000 are feared killed since violence intensified in Bangui in early December, with much of the violence between the Seleka and the anti-balaka. The United Nations estimates that more than 900,000 have been driven from their homes.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday the establishment of the interim government gives the country an opportunity to move its political process forward. Elections are expected some time next year.

Ban also called for those who can help to give financial support and other aid to the African-led mission in the CAR He wants contributions to be announced at an aid conference Saturday in Addis Ababa.

Images from the Central African Republic

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