France urges UN to play bigger role in Central Africa
BANGUI (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande on Friday called on the United Nations to "play a still bigger role" in the strife-ridden Central African Republic as French troops in Bangui sought to clamp down after days of violence.
Heavy patrols of armoured vehicles and French soldiers could be seen in the capital, where more than 1,000 people are believed to have been killed in three weeks of sectarian violence.
But Mr Hollande told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a telephone conversation that France was "aiming to protect the entire Central African population from attacks against it, without distinction," his Elysee office said in a statement.
Mr Hollande asked the United Nations to "play a still bigger role" in the CAR's transition to democracy and thanked the UN chief for the world body's moves to strengthen MISCA, the African force deployed to help restore calm in the Central African Republic.