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Paris to host CAR crisis mini-summit

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Paris to host CAR crisis mini-summit
Soldiers of the multinational African force FOMAC in CAR capital Bangui. Photo: Sia Kambu/AFP
07:45 CET+01:00
Paris will host a mini-summit on December 7th on the crisis in strife-torn Central African Republic, with leaders from neighbouring African countries and UN chief Ban Ki-moon due to attend, the French presidency said Saturday.

The gathering of leaders, including CAR Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, will take place after the UN Security Council votes on France's plan to deploy
about 1,000 soldiers to take on an active fighting role alongside a flagging African-led "stabilisation mission".

Calls have grown for an international reaction to the violence in the CAR, where religious clashes have raised fears of sectarian massacres.

The French presidency said the summit had been requested by several countries and it would "enable discussion on ways of putting into action the
resolution" in view of it being passed.

France's resolution aims to strengthen an African stabilisation force in the country which has about 2,500 troops but has been hampered by a lack of
funds, arms and training.

Lying in the heart of Africa, the Central African Republic has struggled with a series of coups and rebel uprisings since independence in 1960.

The latest crisis began when a coalition of rebels known as Seleka forced president Francois Bozize to flee in March and replaced him with a rebel leader, Michel Djotodia -- the country's first Muslim president.

Djotodia has since officially disbanded the Seleka but the motley crew of mostly Muslim insurgents have taken to looting and burning villages, killing inhabitants who fail to flee, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other watchdog bodies.

In response, Christian populations have formed militia forces that attack Muslims, many of whom have nothing to do with the Selaka.

The UN estimates that at least 400,000 people, or 10 percent of the population, have been forced from their homes by the crisis.

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