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U.N. chief says Central African Republic peacekeepers 'overwhelmed'

By Hubert-Mary Djamany BANGUI (Reuters) - French and African soldiers serving in Central African Republic are "overwhelmed" by the "state of anarchy" in the country, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday, a day after Chadian troops began withdrawing from the peacekeeping mission. The U.N. Security Council is due to approve next week a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for the former French colony. The force will take over authority from African Union troops in an attempt to restore order to the country.

U.N. chief says Central African Republic peacekeepers 'overwhelmed'

By Hubert-Mary Djamany BANGUI (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Saturday that French and African soldiers in Central African Republic were "overwhelmed" by a "state of anarchy," a day after Chadian troops began withdrawing from the peacekeeping mission. The U.N. Security Council is due to approve next week a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for the former French colony, which will take over authority from African Union troops in an attempt to restore order to the impoverished country.

U.N. chief says Central African Republic peacekeepers 'overwhelmed'

By Hubert-Mary Djamany BANGUI (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Saturday that French and African soldiers in Central African Republic were "overwhelmed" by a "state of anarchy," a day after Chadian troops began withdrawing from the peacekeeping mission. The U.N. Security Council is due to approve next week a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for the former French colony, which will take over authority from African Union troops in an attempt to restore order to the impoverished country.

EU launches Central Africa military operation

The European Union officially launched its delayed military mission to the Central African Republic on Tuesday, seeking to bolster French and African forces that have failed to end months of Christian-Muslim violence. The 1,000-strong force, dubbed EUFOR RCA, will work to restore security to the capital Bangui during a six-month mission, with a view to handing over to a United Nations peacekeeping operation or African troops, the EU said.

U.N. aims to evacuate 19,000 Muslims under threat in Central African Republic

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Tuesday it was trying to evacuate 19,000 Muslims urgently from Bangui and other parts of Central African Republic who are surrounded by anti-balaka Christian militia threatening their lives. Anti-balaka forces control major routes to and from Bangui as well as many towns and villages in the southwest, the U.N. refugee agency said. The militia has become more militarised as it steps up attacks on Muslims and African Union peacekeepers.

France bemoans troop shortage for EU force in C.Africa

The French commander of a European Union peacekeeping force which had been due to deploy in the Central African Republic this week said Wednesday he did not have enough soldiers. "The deployment hinges on the creation of a logistical unit of around 100 forces," General Philippe Ponties told French radio RFI, describing the shortage of volunteers as "worrying". Former colonial power France sent troops to Bangui in December in a bid to stem a cycle of ethnic and religious killing the world feared could evolve into genocide.

Somali president pays visit to Hiroshima memorial park

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Saturday paid a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park dedicated to the victims of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the western Japan city. After meeting with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, Mohamud laid flowers at the memorial for victims of the attack and toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. According to Hiroshima city officials, it is the first visit by a Somali president to the city.

Red Cross worker killed in Central African Republic

BANGUI (Reuters) - A Red Cross worker was killed on Saturday in the north of the Central African Republic, amid escalating religious violence that peacekeepers have been powerless to stop. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement armed men entered the Catholic mission in the northern town of Ndele, where four of its staff were based, and killed one of them, a Central African man. The remaining three are safe, it said.

U.N. says west of Central African Republic 'cleansed' of Muslims

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Most Muslims have been expelled from the west of conflict-ravaged Central African Republic, where thousands of civilians are at risk of being killed "right before our eyes," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.

C.Africa in dire need of peacekeepers

Top UN officials said Thursday a peacekeeping mission is essential for stabilizing Central African Republic and aiding civilians -- but there will be no "quick fix" there. The nearly 12,000 peacekeepers the United Nations hopes to deploy by September will be operating in "a particularly challenging environment," UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said at the Security Council.
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