[February 06, 2014]PARIS (Reuters) — French Defence Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday the United Nations would probably
have to renew a French mandate for French troops to restore order in
Central African Republic when it expires in May.
France deployed 1,600 troops there in December to try to stem
violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels
who ousted President Francois Bozize last March.
Catherine Samba-Panza, the interim president, says she hopes to
restore order within a month, though Human Rights Watch has warned
Seleka fighters who fled the capital Bangui have regrouped in the
northeast and begun attacks on civilians.
Government soldiers lynched a man in the capital on Wednesday whom
they suspected of having been a rebel, underscoring security
concerns in a country that plans to hold elections in February next
Asked during an RTL radio interview whether France's six-month U.N.
mandate, granted on December 5, would have to be renewed, Le Drian
The defense minister said that the French mission helped ease
tensions and that the situation was improving day by day.
"The situation in Bangui has more or less stabilized," Le Drian
said. "In the rest of the country it is much more complicated".