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Chinese troops bolster UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

A unit of Chinese soldiers arrived in Mali on Thursday to strengthen the United Nations peacekeeping force in the troubled west African nation's rebel-infested north, sources told AFP. A foreign diplomatic source in the capital Bamako said 245 Chinese troops would join a 150-strong contingent which has been stationed since December in Gao, the largest city in Mali's northern desert and the target of sporadic Islamist violence. A source from the UN's MINUSMA force confirmed the deployment but said he wasn't immediately able to provide details.

Chinese troops bolster UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

A unit of Chinese soldiers arrived in Mali on Thursday to strengthen the United Nations peacekeeping force in the troubled west African nation's rebel-infested north, sources told AFP. A foreign diplomatic source in the capital Bamako said 245 Chinese troops would join a 150-strong contingent which has been stationed since December in Gao, the largest city in Mali's northern desert and the target of sporadic Islamist violence. A source from the UN's MINUSMA force confirmed the deployment but said he wasn't immediately able to provide details.

EU nations favourable to joint military mission in C. Africa

European Union nations broadly agreed Friday on a plan to launch a joint military operation in Central Africa to help restore security there amid fears of civilian massacres, EU diplomats told AFP. Ambassadors from the 28 member states gave preliminary approval to plans for the rapid deployment of hundreds of troops to help African and French peacekeepers already on the ground restore "a safe and secure environment" in the Central African Republic.

Central Africa leader fate to be decided at Thursday summit: France

PARIS (Reuters) - Central African leaders will meet on Thursday to decide the future of Central African Republic's interim President Michel Djotodia whose leadership has failed to restore stability, France's foreign minister said on Wednesday. French and African troops deployed in the country have struggled to stop tit-for-tat violence between Muslim Seleka rebels, who seized power in March, and Christian self-defense militias. More than 1,000 people died in clashes in December.

South Sudan's terrified huddle in 'town' within city

South Sudan's capital has three towns: the first is the dusty streets of Juba, largely calm but where the crackle of gun fire still rings out at night after three weeks of violence. But the other two are foul smelling camps totalling some 30,000 people squeezed in the grounds of United Nations bases, an enclave crowded so tight that people have to take turns to sleep on the ground in flimsy shelters made of cardboard or ragged cloth.

Jordan says two UNAMID peacekeepers killed in Darfur

Gunmen killed two peacekeepers, one from Jordan and one from Senegal, in an attack on Sunday on a UN patrol in Sudan's conflict-stricken Darfur, Jordan's Public Security Directorate said. "This morning, gunmen in South Darfur opened fire at a UN patrol, killing Jordanian Major Talal Rjub and a Senegalese peacekeeper," the statement said. "The United Nations peacekeeping force has informed us of the attack and said it was investigating it," the statement added without elaborating.

Jordan says two UNAMID peacekeepers killed in Darfur

Gunmen killed two peacekeepers, one from Jordan and one from Senegal, in an attack on Sunday on a UN patrol in Sudan's conflict-stricken Darfur, Jordan's Public Security Directorate said. "This morning, gunmen in South Darfur opened fire at a UN patrol, killing Jordanian Major Talal Rjub and a Senegalese peacekeeper," the statement said. "The United Nations peacekeeping force has informed us of the attack and said it was investigating it," the statement added without elaborating.

First UN reinforcements arrive in South Sudan

The first peacekeeping reinforcements arrived Friday in South Sudan as the United Nations warned that tensions remain dangerously high despite efforts to organize a ceasefire between government and rebel forces. The 72 member police contingent, moved from Democratic Republic of Congo, were the first of up to 6,000 troops authorized by the UN Security Council to bolster the hard pressed UN mission. The UN said dangers remain so acute that large numbers of bodies had been seen outside at least one UN base, but could not be collected.

Hollande wants bigger U.N. role in Central African Republic

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande has asked the United Nations to play a bigger role in the Central African Republic, Hollande's office said in a statement on Friday. France deployed a 1,600 strong peacekeeping mission in its former colony this month to stop massacres between Muslim and Christian militias, but the U.N.-backed intervention is struggling to restore security in the country.

UN to speed up Central Africa peackeeping force

The United Nations said Friday it would speed up planning for a possible UN peacekeeping force in Central African Republic, where deadly strife is spreading. Consultations with the Security Council and the African Union "will be expeditiously undertaken" in coming days, it said, after talks between UN leader Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande.
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