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Central African Republic

Published on November 21, 2013
Excerpts from the interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to France 2

Paris, November 21, 2013


Q. – Another subject, the Central African Republic: today we’re seeing that country on the brink of chaos. Is France going to intervene?

THE MINISTER – The country is even on the brink of genocide! The Central African Republic is a country of five million inhabitants, bigger than France, at the heart of Africa.

Total disorder reigns there today. For five million inhabitants, there are seven surgeons. Infant mortality is nearly 25% in certain areas of the country. One and a half million people have nothing, not even anything to eat. Moreover, bandits and armed gangs are spreading chaos. France, the African countries and the international community are concerned about this.

Q. – Is France going to intervene?

THE MINISTER – France is already present on the ground. We have 420 troops there. The UN is going to give the African forces from the region’s countries, the African Union and also France the possibility, authorization to intervene.

Q. – But you talk of genocide

THE MINISTER – It won’t be anything like the kind of intervention there was in Mali. It won’t be anything like as big or last as long. But France is providing help, supporting the Africans.

Q. – You talk of genocide; action must be taken very quickly.

THE MINISTER – Yes, exactly. This is why François Hollande raised this question – he was the first to do so – at the United Nations General Assembly in September. Since then, there’s already been a Security Council resolution, and a report by the Secretary-General has just been submitted [to the Security Council]. We’ll have a second resolution giving authorization – because the law must be respected – to intervene at the beginning of December.

Q. – Might that country, too, become a terrorist haven?

THE MINISTER – Sadly, yes. There are already many brigands and, given Africa’s situation, if things aren’t sorted out, there’s a risk of terrorist hotbeds spreading. (…)./.

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