French President to meet CAR leaders

imgFrench President Francois Hollande on Wednesday met with Central African Republic (CAR) interim president Catherine Samba-Panza for talks amid ongoing tensions in the troubled African nation, an official statement said.
The two leaders discussed, notably, ongoing efforts to arrive at a settlement to the civil conflict that has killed tens of thousands over the past two years, as militias from two ethnic groups have waged war on each other.
The militias, one Christian and the other Muslim, have been more or less separated by around 2,000 French troops and an international African force, but some fighting and massacres have continued none the less.
Many Muslims have been forced to flee CAR for neighbouring Chad, Senegal and Cameroon.
Hollande told Samba-Panza that he welcomed “new progress towards peace in CAR, notably through the disarming and release of child soldiers “forcibly incorporated into the militia ranks,” a statement from the Elysee Palace said.
Hollande also noted “efforts of the transitional authorities to prepare for elections and put in place mechanisms to fight against impunity, like the Special Court of Justice.” The French leader additionally welcomed positive developments in deploying forces from the African Union in CAR to allow a drawdown of the French contingent in the country.
He added that France would, however, continue supporting humanitarian and development actions in CAR.

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