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The Central African Republic since French intervention

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A snapshot of developments in the Central African Republic since France sent troops to its former colony to stem sectarian bloodletting.

Since then, about 1,000 people have been killed in attacks by Christian "anti-balaka" militias and by the Muslim Seleka rebel group.

The unrest began when Seleka leader Michel Djotodia seized power in a March coup, unseating president Francois Bozize and become the first Muslim president of the predominantly Christian country.

Although Djotodia disbanded the rebels, some of them went rogue, leading to months of killing, rape and pillaging and prompting Christians to form vigilante groups in response.

-- DECEMBER 2013 --

- 5: France orders an additional 600 troops into the Central African Republic under a UN mandate, doubling the force it already has in and around the capital Bangui.

- 7: French troops rise to 1,600, with a mandate to disarm militias and other groups blamed for a spiral of violence.

French President Francois Hollande says they will stay in the country "as long as necessary" and that new elections will be held.

Hollande's office says the African Union (AU) will nearly double the number of its own troops in the Central African Republic to 6,000 as part of a force known by the acronym MISCA.

- 9: Two French soldiers are killed during a night patrol in Bangui.

- 10: Hollande visits Bangui and says the French intervention is dangerous but necessary.

- 20: Inter-religious violence continues in Bangui. European Council president Herman Van Rompuy says the French intervention has warded off civil war, maybe even a "genocide".

- 22: Anti-French protests break out in Banjui after its troops kill three ex-Seleka rebels.

- 23: Troops from Chad fire on stone-throwing protesters demanding the withdrawal of Chadian peacekeepers, killing one. Chadian troops are accused of siding with ex-Seleka rebels.

- 24: The head of troops from Burundi says that they engaged in a firefight a day earlier with the Chadian soldiers.

- 25: Heavy gunfire fuels panic in Bangui. French armoured vehicles deploy near the airport. A MISCA spokesman says Chadian troops will redeploy to the north.

- 26: A MISCA spokesman says five Chadian soldiers were killed a day earlier in clashes in Bangui.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131226/the-central-african-republic-french-intervention