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Ivory Coast to send 450 peacekeepers to C. Africa

Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on patrol in Bambari. UN Photo

United Nations, United States | AFP | Ivory Coast will send 450 troops to the Central African Republic to serve as UN peacekeepers in one of the most demanding missions, the foreign minister said Thursday.

The announcement from Ivorian Foreign Minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh came after Gabon last month announced that it was pulling out its 450-strong contingent from the MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic.

“Ivory Coast will soon send a contingent of 450 soldiers,” the foreign minister told reporters at UN headquarters.

The United Nations is also looking for 900 extra troops to beef up MINUSCA, which the Security Council authorized in November amid fears that the country was sliding toward further violence.

MINUSCA has 12,000 troops and police deployed in the impoverished country, which has been struggling since it exploded into bloodshed after the 2013 overthrow of longtime leader Francois Bozize.

There have been a number of deadly clashes between peacekeepers and militia in CAR in recent weeks and MINUSCA blue helmets have faced a wave of allegations of sexual abuse.

Gabon announced it was pulling out following allegations of sex abuse and other misconduct by its troops.

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