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France deploys tanks around presidential palace in Bangui

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French troops have deployed tanks around the presidential palace in the capital Bangui shortly after the resignations of the president and the premier of the Central African Republic.

Several French tanks were deployed around the presidential palace and other government buildings across the violence-stricken city on Friday.

This comes hours after both the interim President Michel Djotodia and the Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye resigned at a meeting in Chad.

They resigned after intense pressure over the government’s failure to stem deadly sectarian violence. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called for the swift replacement of Djotodia.

The resignations come after regional leaders held a two-day summit in Chad to debate the worsening conflict in the CAR as it threatened to spill over into the neighboring countries.

Djotodia is a former rebel leader who seized control of the country after a coup in March 2013.

In early December, a Christian militia backed by loyalists of ousted president, Francois Bozize, attacked the capital Bangui.

In the violent aftermath, more than 1000 people were killed and nearly one million fled their homes in fear.

Meanwhile, France invaded its former colony on December 5, 2013, after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.

Paris claims the aim of the mission is to create stability in the country in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach violence-hit areas.

There are many mineral resources, including gold and diamond, in the Central African Republic. However, the country is extremely poor and has faced a series of rebellions and coups since it gained independence in 1960.


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