France president Francois Hollande has announced that French troops will end a three-year military peacekeeping operation in Central African Republic (CAR) in October.
The peacekeeping operation was launched in December 2013, to bring to an end the rival clashes that began when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters toppled the then president, Francois Bozize prompting reprisals by Christian anti-Balaka militias.
French Defence ministry said operation Sangaris currently commands around 350 troops in CAR, down from a peak of 2000, and supports a 12,000 strong UN peacekeeping force.
Next October Jean-Yves Le Drian ... will go to Central African Republic to officially announce the end of operation Sangaris.
Hollande announced the operation end date late on Wednesday, however, defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had announced in January the operation would end this year.
“Next October Jean-Yves Le Drian … will go to Central African Republic to officially announce the end of operation Sangaris,” said Hollande.
Clashes have continued in the Central African nation since president Faustin-Archange Tauadera took power in March.
According to a police source, sixteen people were killed in recent two days of clashes between Fulani herdsmen and the mainly Muslim Seleka militia in northern Central African Republic.
Ongoing conflict including attacks on civilians and clashes among armed groups have resulted to displacement of people leading many to flee into neighbouring countries.