Central African Republic: French MPs Visit CAR Ahead of Vote On Military Intervention

A powerful militia in Central African Republic said on Saturday it will only disarm once its main rivals, the mainly Muslim Seleka fighters, lay down ... ( Resource: Central African Republic Militia Says Will Only Disarm After Muslim Rebels Do

A delegation of 10 French MPs were to travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday for a one-day visit ahead of a vote in the French parliament on whether to extend or stop the French Sangaris military operation there.

Although the French intervention was intended to be short, France has made little progress so far in the CAR as sectarian violence shows little sign of abating.

MPs must vote soon to endorse or oppose the government's decision to send troops.

Last week Paris said it would send 400 more soldiers, although it was also able to announce on Sunday that a much-hoped-for European contingent would be sent within a few weeks.

The visit is an initiative of the Socialist head of the French parliament's foreign affairs committee, Elisabeth Guigou.

French MPs need to see what's happening on the ground before making a decision, she told RFI.

"I suggested this visit two or three weeks ago, because it seemed legitimate that MPs see the on-site progress of the operation Sangaris with their own eyes before the vote to extend the mission on 25 February," she said. "We will meet with CAR political authorities first - President Catherine Samba-Panza, Prime Minister André Nzapayéké, as well as the foreign affairs, defense and public safety ministers."

The MPs were also to meet the heads of the French and African military operations in the CAR and hopes to see local NGOs.

Guigou believes that there is consensus in parliament on extending the operation and even to beef it up.

Nzapayéké on Sunday met leaders of Christian anti-balaka militias, some of whom said they were "ready to cooperate to restore peace" although many have been involved in reprisals against Muslim Séléka militias.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Radio France Internationale. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Sectarian Violence Worsening in CAR

The UN says deadly sectarian violence in the Country appears to be getting worse and warns leaders will be held personally accountable for serious human rights violations committed ... Read more »