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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid