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UN peacekeeping chief for C. Africa urges political talks

General Babacar Gaye, the United Nations secretary general's representative to Central African Republic, speaks on February 6, 2014 in BanguiA new UN peacekeeping mission to be deployed in the Central African Republic next month must be backed up by political talks to restore stability, the head of the force said Tuesday. Some 1,800 fresh troops will be arriving in CAR on September 15, joining 5,800 African forces already serving in the country to launch the UN mission known as MINUSCA, said Babacar Gaye. “My main asset is not only to have troops, but to have a comprehensive approach for the protection of civilians and the stabilization of the country,” Gaye told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council. There are about 2,000 French troops serving alongside the African forces in CAR, which has been engulfed in sectarian violence since a March 2013 coup ousted Francois Bozize.

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