French troops rumbled into Central African Republic on Friday,trying to quell violence in the capital a day after armed Christian fighters raided Muslim neighbourhoods,leaving nearly 100 people dead.
France began sending reinforcements within hours of a UN vote Thursday authorising its troops to try to stabilise the country. But French officials insisted the missions aims are limited – to bring a minimum of security to Bangui,where people now fear to leave their homes,and to support an African-led force.
You have to secure,you have to disarm, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Radio France Internationale. You have to ensure that the vandals,the bandits,the militias know they cant use the streets of Bangui for their battles.
On Friday,there was no repeat of the clashes,Le Drian said. But since thousands of armed Muslim rebels invaded Bangui in March,the city remains awash in weapons.