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Regional nations approve military force for South Sudan

East African nations have approved a 5,500-strong military force for war-torn South Sudan to end weeks of bitter fighting that has devastated the young nation, Kenya's foreign minister said Wednesday. "The Security Council within IGAD has already adopted a resolution allowing 5,500 troops into South Sudan," Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed told reporters, referring to the seven-member Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Uganda, an IGAD-member, has already sent troops to South Sudan on its own. mom-rob-pjm/dh

AU seeks C.Africa reinforcements as key vote nears

The African Union called Wednesday for more troops to help stabilise the conflict-torn Central African Republic, which remains tense as its transitional parliament prepares to elect a new interim president. As lawmakers struggled to reach agreement on the rules for the Saturday vote -- warning this raised the prospect of a delay -- an African Union official told leaders from the continent's Great Lakes region that the AU-backed MISCA force needed more troops.

AU calls for more troops for C. Africa

The African Union called on countries in the Great Lakes region Wednesday to reinforce a peacekeeping mission in the conflict-torn Central African Republic to "definitively stabilise the situation" there. AU special representative for the Great Lakes Boubacar Diarra told regional leaders meeting in Angola that African force MISCA, which currently has about 4,500 soldiers, needed more troops. The continental body "calls on your authority to provide the means for MISCA -- whose numbers were projected at 6,000 -- to comfortably pursue its mandate," Diarra said.

AU calls for more troops for C. Africa

The African Union called on countries in the Great Lakes region Wednesday to reinforce a peacekeeping mission in the conflict-torn Central African Republic to "definitively stabilise the situation" there. AU special representative for the Great Lakes Boubacar Diarra told regional leaders meeting in Angola that African force MISCA, which currently has about 4,500 soldiers, needed more troops. The continental body "calls on your authority to provide the means for MISCA -- whose numbers were projected at 6,000 -- to comfortably pursue its mandate," Diarra said.

Ban says AU must send troops to Central Africa crisis

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on the African Union to speedily provide promised troops to halt the worsening crisis in Central African Republic. Ban said the resignation of transitional president Michel Djotodia and his prime minister meant speedy action was needed to restore order. France has sent 1,600 troops to Central African Republic to support the African Union force which is meant to have up to 6,000 troops but has not yet reached 3,500. Ban said events in Central African Republic had "gone from bad to worse."

U.S. offers $100 million to aid African troops in Central African Republic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pledging up to $100 million to help support African Union efforts in the Central African Republic, the U.S. State Department said on Friday. "The United States remains deeply concerned about the horrific violence committed by armed groups against innocent civilians" in the Central African Republic, department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

Regional force to hand over authority to int'l force in CAR

Regional force to hand over authority to int'l force in CAR LIBREVILLE, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The secretary general of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Ahmad Allam- Mi is expected in the Central African Republic (CAR) before the end of this week. During the trip, the official will take part in a ceremony to transfer power from the ECCAS regional force (MICOPAX2) to International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) which is under the AU command.

Interview: CAR PM optimistic to see end to crisis

PARIS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Central African Republic's Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye expressed optimism to get the African country out of political vacuum and end the month-long bloodshed. "Of course, I think we are heading towards an exit from the crisis... I am, of course, optimistic, although the situation is very difficult. But there is never a problem without a solution..." Tiangaye told Xinhua in an interview after the Africa-France peace and security summit in Paris last Friday and Saturday.

Hollande announces decisions on security, economy at Paris summit

PARIS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Pledging to open a new chapter with African countries, French President Francois Hollande on Saturday proposed Paris's help to improve Africans' military performance and to forge a common stance to fight against the climate change. Held since 1975, Africa-France summit was also an opportunity for Hollande to offer more aid to his partners in Africa and revive trade links enough to win back Paris' share in the promising African market.

African Union to almost double troops in C. Africa

The African Union is to nearly double the number of troops it is sending to the Central African Republic, the French presidency announced on Saturday at the end of a mini-summit in Paris. The announcement came just hours after France agreed to increase its number of troops from 1,200 to 1,600. The international troops are pouring into the strife-torn country following a green light from the UN. dh/yad
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