The Republic of Congo has sent some 100 more soldiers to the Central African Republic (CAR) to beef up a regional peacekeeping force which has been helping to restore order following a coup last month. The deployment will bring the number of Congolese soldiers in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac) peacekeeping force in CAR to nearly 200. The soldiers left Brazzaville, the smaller of the two Congos, lying to the west of the vast Democratic Republic of Congo and bordering CAR to the northeast, in civilian dress bound for Gabon, current head of the Cemac force. There, they will be provided with Cemac uniforms, weapons and ammunition, a military official said. The soldiers flew out of Congo on board two troop transport planes belonging to France, the former colonial power of both Congo and CAR and in charge of the Cemac peacekeepers’ logistical operations. After ousting CAR’s president of 10 years Ange-Felix Patasse on March 15, General Francois Bozize asked for the Cemac troops already in place in CAR, where they were originally deployed late last year to protect Patasse after an earlier failed coup, to be reinforced to help restore order after days of looting following the March putsch. Full Story
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