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France Deploys Troops To CAR To Disarm Fighters, Quell Violence

“French troops on Monday began disarming fighters in the Central African Republic after a swell in sectarian violence that has claimed hundreds of lives and terrified inhabitants,” Agence France-Presse reports (Cariou, 12/9). “A 1,600-strong French force has been sent into the CAR, deployed after days of communal fighting claimed 400 lives,” BBC News writes, noting, “The CAR has been in turmoil since March when an alliance of rebels, known as Seleka, seized power” (12/9). The conflict “has left half the population of 4.6 million in need of assistance, some 415,000 people displaced and countless living in fear of increasingly brutal and sectarian violence,” according to IRIN, which examines the challenges aid agencies working to provide humanitarian assistance are facing (12/6). The Thomson Reuters Foundation examines a rise in the use of child soldiers in the conflict, noting the number “has surged since the outbreak of the conflict in 2012 to between 3,500 and 6,000, [UNICEF] said on Friday” (Kehoe, 12/6).