France will keep a rapid reaction force in Central African Republic after its mission ends in the troubled country, the French presidency announced on Wednesday.
The Elysee said in a statement that the force has a “capacity for military intervention at short notice” and may “be mobilized at the request of the Central African Republic government in case of serious threats against peace or the country’s institutions.”
“In the stabilization phase that follows, France will continue to participate in the integrated multi-dimensional UN Mission in CAR (minusca) and the training mission of the CAR army set up by the Union European Union (EUTM RCA),” the Elysee said after the end of a Council of defense meeting.
Central Africa Republic is struggling to recover from the chaos of the civil war in 2013 caused by the overthrow of former President François Bozizé by rebels in predominantly Muslim Seleka, which resulted in a cons-offensive predominantly Christian Anti-Balaka militias.
The intervention of the French force Sangaris and minusca reduced the intensity of the killings but failed to stabilize the security situation in the country ranked among the poorest in the world.
About 350 French soldiers, equipped with drones, will remain in the CAR, including a hundred in the UN force.
French troops were deployed in CAR in December 2013, and at the height of the crisis there were more than 2,000 soldiers in the country.