France To End Military Operations In Central Africa In October: Hollande

French President Francois Hollande and Central Africa's President Faustin Touadera visit the KM5 area in Bangui on May 13, 2016. By Stephane De Sakutin (POOL/AFP/File)

Paris (AFP) - President Francois Hollande announced on Wednesday that France would end its military mission in the Central African Republic in October.

"Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will go to the Central African Republic next October to officially declare the end of Operation Sangaris," Hollande said at a reception at the defence ministry.

Operation Sangaris was launched in December 2013 in a bid to still violence between Christian and Muslim militias that left thousands dead and drove half a million people from their homes.

The force, which at its peak had 2,500 troops, has been progressively scaled back, being reduced to 350 personnel in June.

In a bid to suppress the sectarian violence, the UN has sent a peacekeeping force known as MINUSCA, comprising 12,600 foreign police and soldiers, as well as more than 500 foreign civilian staff.

Source: AFP
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