French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on 30 March 2016 announced that France will end its Operation Sangaris in the Central African Republic in 2016.
The decision was taken in view of the achievement of the objective of its military intervention in the country. The mission was launched with the objective of restoring security in the country after three years of communal violence.
The announcement came alongside the swearing-in ceremony of Faustin-Archange Touadera as the first elected President of the nation in three years.
The pullout will be in parallel with the buildup of the 12000-strong UN force, MINUSCA, and the European Union's training mission (EUTM RCA). At present it has been reduced from 2500 at its peak in December 2013 to 900. Around 300 French troops will remain in CAR, who will rejoin MINUSCA and take part in EUTM RCA.
The Operation was launched by France in December 2013 to support the African Union-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA). The MISCA was formed with the adoption of Resolution 2127 by the United Nation Security Council (UNSC).
The resolution was adopted against the background of killing of thousands during the religious and ethnic violence between Christians and Muslims in the country that took place in March 2013 plunging the country into a civil war.
CAR plunged into the civil war in March 2013, when Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize and installed their leader Michel Djotodia in power for 10 months. Later in 2014, a transitional government was brought in under international pressure.
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Where: Central African Republic
What: To be ended in 2016