France will launch a military operation in the Central African Republic “immediately” to prevent a humanitarian disaster after violence escalated in the Capital Bangui, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
He made the remarks after the UN Security Council authorized military operations by France in the country. “Given the emergency, I decided to act immediately, that is to say, from that night,” Hollande said.
“… France had been called to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, it will be there… This intervention will be fast and I’m sure of its success,” he added.
Paris has already deployed 600 troops at the capital Banguit to protect French interests and citizens. The number “will be doubled within a few days if not a few hours,” according to Hollande.
France’s top official headed a limited defense council to discuss the recent developments in the African country shortly after the UN gave the green light for use of force after escalating bloody battles between sectarian groups left dozens of vitims in the capital on Thursday.
The Central African Republic, a country of 4.6 million populations has been haunted by instability and poverty since its independence from France in 1960. It is listed by the United Nations as one of the poorest in the world despite its rich resources.
After rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize in March, the country plunged into a new wave of violence and sectarian clashes that forced thousands of people to flee to neighbor countries.