News / Africa

France Could Face Long Intervention in CAR

French President Francois Hollande (C) pays tribute near a flag-draped coffin bearing one of two French soldiers who was killed overnight, in Bangui, Dec. 10, 2013.
French President Francois Hollande (C) pays tribute near a flag-draped coffin bearing one of two French soldiers who was killed overnight, in Bangui, Dec. 10, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
France's President Francois Hollande has vowed to stay the course in the Central African Republic, where French forces deployed to curb the country's escalating violence have sustained their first casualties.  After Mali, CAR marks Paris' second military intervention in Africa this year. It may also prove more complex and lengthy than expected.

During a brief visit to the Central African Republic Tuesday evening, French President Francois Hollande said France's aim of disarming warring groups and restoring stability is essential to avoid more bloodshed.

"The mission is the same," Hollande said.  "France knew it would be dangerous, but it is necessary to avoid carnage."

The president spoke hours after French forces sustained their first two fatalities since beginning their operation in CAR.

Mali intervention

The killings bookend a year that began with France's 4,000-strong military intervention in another former French colony - Mali - to drive out Islamist militants who had taken over the north.

The 1,600 French soldiers in the CAR are far fewer than those intervening in Mali, and French authorities have said this latest operation will only last about six months.

But analysts like African specialist Roland Marchal, of the Paris-based National Centre for Scientific Research, are skeptical.

"It's an illusion - as it was an illusion in Mali to declare the war was over, that French soldiers will be back home soon… We have more than 2,000 soldiers [still in Mali] when Francois Hollande promised that only 1,000 would be there by the end of the year," he said.

French troops killed 19 Islamists in northern Mali earlier this week, underscoring the reality that fighting there has not ended.  French authorities say about 1,000 French troops will remain there in the coming months.

In the CAR, where this year's crisis has displaced about 500,000 people, the country's dense forests make military operations difficult.  And considering the CAR's history of instability, securing peace and state authority will be challenging.

Marchal also believes that it may take longer than six months to hand over operations to a beefed-up African force.

"It's basically [that] the African force will need quite some time to get ready in Bangui as well as in the countryside.  And because the funding is actually quite minimal," he said.

France has intervened in the CAR before, but Hollande has vowed a new French relationship with Africa as a whole, based on partnership and humanitarian concerns. 

Reaction in France

At home, much of the opposition backs the operation, including Christian Jacob, who heads the conservative UMP party in the National Assembly.  In a radio interview Wednesday, Jacob said the CAR military operation is essential, given the country's strategic location in the heart of Africa.

But Jacob said France is largely "isolated" in its military mission.  France can only succeed, he says, if it works alongside other partners and rapidly hands over the operation to an international force.

Unlike the strong popular support for France's Mali operation, polls show many French today have mixed feelings about this latest one.

But Marchal says the intervention is unlikely to affect the president ratings, which ultimately will be determined by his domestic policies, and not his foreign ones.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: amna from: pakistan
December 15, 2013 3:09 AM
France is one of the most popular European countries around the world, bordered by different countries, do you know what countries border France? what is its economy? Following is a good article about France. See the details and increase your general knowledge about France.
http://www.thecountriesof.com/what-countries-border-france-list/

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid