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Iran Press TV

Public support for Paris intervention in CAR falls

Iran Press TV

Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:39PM GMT

A larger proportion of the French population is now turning against Paris military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR), Press TV reports.

A recent poll commissioned by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) and published by the French-language weekly Le Journal du Dimanche indicates that French public support for the military operations called 'Sangaris' has dropped to 44 percent from an initial 51 percent following the death of two young soldiers in the African nation.

French troopers Nicolas Vokaer, 23, and Antoine Le Quinio, 22, were gunned down in a firefight during a patrol in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui on December 10.

"France has very particular interests in Central Africa. That's the reason of the intervention," a French man told Press TV in Paris.

Another French man said, "I think the French will return rapidly because of what happened now. It's a pity for the soldiers who died there, but for me the French must come back home quickly."

"They must return, because if not, there will be more deaths," a middle-aged French woman pointed out.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday that Paris will ask for more help from European partners to bolster its military mission in the CAR.

'That is a real, big problem. Tomorrow, I'll go to the Council of Foreign Ministers and I will ask (European partners) for stepped-up, more robust aid, including on the ground,' he stated.

On December 5, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the CAR.

France has deployed 1,600 troops to the Central African Republic.

The Central African Republic has been gripped by unrest since Seleka rebels seized control of the impoverished landlocked country in March, ousting former President Francois Bozize.

According to the UN, more than 600 people have been killed and 159,000 displaced in the African country's fighting.

The mission in the CAR is France's second military intervention in Africa in 2013.

In January, Paris dispatched more than 4,000 troops to Mali, launching a fierce war against the militants in the country.


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