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France To Send 1,000 Troops To CAR

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France will send 1,000 troops to Central African Republic – the second time France has boosted its presence there in a year – under an expected UN-backed mission to keep growing chaos at bay.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence minister, made the announcement on Tuesday – a day after a top UN official warned of mass atrocities and possible civil war in CAR, where rebel groups joined forces in March and overthrew the president.

The rebels have been accused by rights groups of committing scores of atrocities including murder, rape and the use of child soldiers. 

“It’s in collapse and we cannot have a country fall apart like that. There is the violence, massacres and humanitarian chaos that follow a collapse,” Le Drian told a European radio station. “It will be a short mission to allow calm and stability to return.”

In Mali, France has about 2,800 troops taking part in an operation that began after rebels and al-Qaida-linked fighters moved to take over the capital last winter.

Le Drian dismissed any comparisons between the Mali and CAR missions. 

“In Mali there was an attack of jihadists, terrorists who wanted to transform Mali into a terrorist state. This is a collapse of a country with a potential for religious clashes,” he said.

“France has international responsibilities, is a permanent member of the Security Council, has history with Central African Republic, and the United Nations is asking us to do it.”

France already has 420 soldiers in Central African Republic – mostly to protect the airport in the capital Bangui.

The country has asked France to increase that force and French diplomats have announced plans to circulate a draft Security Council resolution that will call for additional support for the 3,000-strong force led by the African Union now in the country.

France hopes that a UN resolution will be passed before the start of a summit in Paris next week focusing on security issues in Africa, French diplomats have said.

The expanded French deployment would happen after that. France would accompany an African force of troops from neighboring countries, and the French mission would be expected to last about six months, Le Drian said. [AlJazeera]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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