United States to begin flying African forces European peacekeepers Central African Republic 1212132

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U.S. support with C-17 military transport aircraft

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 09:25 AM
 
United States to begin flying African forces and European peacekeepers to Central African Republic.
The U.S. military expects Thursday, December 12, 2013, to begin flying Burundi forces into the Central African Republic to help stop the violence in that war-torn country, according to a U.S. military official. The United States has two C-17 military transport aircraft in Uganda that will pick up the forces in Burundi and unload them in Bangui, the capital. The official emphasized the U.S. planes will remain on the ground in Bangui for a very short period due to the violence there.
     
The U.S. military expects Thursday, December 12, 2013, to begin flying Burundi forces into the Central African Republic to help stop the violence in that war-torn country, according to a U.S. military official. The United States has two C-17 military transport aircraft in Uganda that will pick up the forces in Burundi and unload them in Bangui, the capital. The official emphasized the U.S. planes will remain on the ground in Bangui for a very short period due to the violence there.
December 12, 2013, U.S. Africa Command will begin transporting about 850 Burundian troops into the region aboard U.S. C-17s while the RAF continues to move supplies in to support French troops on the ground.
     

he official also said the United States believes its planes and crews will be safe, because French forces control the airport there. The airlift of Burundi forces is expected to last about a week. Discussions about what additional assistance the United State may provide continue.

The Pentagon announced Monday that American military would fly African and European peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, which is in the midst of a bloody internal conflict between various proclaimed Christian and Muslim militias and other rebel factions.

Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog said "the United States is joining the international community" in aiding the peackeeping effort "because of our belief that immediate action is required to avert a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel responded after talking with his French counterpart, Yves Le Drian, on Sunday from Afghanistan, Woog said, adding that France asked for "limited assistance."

The request for near term help involves U.S. air support to enable the prompt deployment of African forces "to prevent the further spread of sectarian violence," Woog said.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution last week authorizing military intervention by an African Union-led force backed by French troops to protect civilians, restore humanitarian access and stabilize the country.

As part of the effort, the United States will fly troops from Burundi to the Central African Republic capital of Bangui.

The Pentagon will provide security for its planes, but there is no indication about the number of troops involved. The operation is expected to be relatively small.

 

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