Hagel orders airlift for Central African Republic
French troops patrol past two Seleka, the alliance of mostly Muslim rebel groups, vehicles set on fire by Christian mobs in Bangui, Central African Republic, Monday Dec. 9, 2013. Both Christian and Muslim mobs went on lynching sprees as French Forces deploy in the capital. At least one Seleka suspect was stoned to death by the crowds. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
DOHA, Qatar -- Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel is ordering the U.S. military to transport troops from Burundi into the
Central African Republic to help
quell the latest upsurge in violence there.
He approved the order at the request
of the French defense minister.
Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog says
Hagel directed the U.S. Africa Command to begin transporting forces in
coordination with France because the U.S. believes immediate action is needed
to "avert a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe in the Central African
Republic, and because of our interest in peace and security in the region."
There are more than 1,000 French
troops in the Central African
Republic, where Christian armed fighters launched an attack on the capital last
The fighters oppose the Muslim
ex-rebels now in charge of the former French colony.