US to Fly Troops Into Central African Republic

American planes will transport Euro, African peacekeepers
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2013 1:37 PM CST
Mobs of Christians attack suspected Seleka, the alliance of mostly Muslim rebel groups, members near the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Monday Dec. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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(Newser) – Now the US is getting involved: Washington has agreed to fly European and African peacekeepers into the Central African Republic to help quell the bloody strife between various Muslim and Christian groups and other rebel militias, CNN reports. US military aircraft will fly troops—including a few French ones—from Burundi into Bangui, the Central African Republic's capital. The operations will likely be small, but the US will have to secure its own planes and hasn't said how many of its troops will be involved. Violence on the ground will be "a big factor," according to a US official.

The US agreed to get involved after a direct plea from French and African Union peacekeepers, who have already been on the ground in the Central African Republic. Today's development comes after the UN Security Council approved military intervention in the beleaguered African nation, where rebels overthrew the president in March and agreed to share power with the government—but the country has since devolved into near collapse. Defense Department officials are expected to make an official announcement today. (Read more Central African Republic stories.)

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