Central African Republic
You ask a totally legitimate question. Late this morning I had our ambassador in Bangui on the telephone and I can convey the situation back to you.
In terms of security, the situation is extremely tense and troubling. We, the French, have forces; we’re working on that with the Minister of Defence. We have two companies there, plus a company in Boali.
These companies have control of the airport, which is extremely important for ensuring the smooth flow of traffic. In addition, they are moving around the city, they are ensuring the security of the supply points and of course they are protecting the embassy.
There are also forces – the so-called multilateral forces – that are struggling and, according to the information provided by our ambassador, there’s currently widespread looting, many people have died and there’s a great deal of concern.
On a political level – and that’s where it all started –, the self-proclaimed head of state, M. Djotodia, yesterday announced measures, but these don’t change the reality of the situation. The Prime Minister is trying to move things in the right direction as much as possible, and as you highlighted, a meeting to review the situation in the Central African Republic will take place tomorrow in N’Djamena.
France said that she was obviously available to support any effort to restore stability but legitimately-recognized authorities must be established; this is not the case for the current president.
We will continue to pursue this three-pronged approach focusing on security, stability and freedom./.