Central African Republic – Reply by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly (Paris, April 17, 2013)
In terms of security, the situation is extremely tense and troubling. We, the French, have forces; we’re working on that with the minister of defense. We have two companies there, plus a company in Boali. These companies have control of the airport, which is extremely important with respect to ensuring the smooth flow of traffic. In addition, they are moving around the cities, they are ensuring the security of the supply points and of course they are protecting the embassy.
There are also forces – the so-called multilateral forces – that are struggling and, according to the information provided by our ambassador, there’s currently widespread looting, many people have died and there’s a great deal of concern.
On a political level - and that’s where it all started -, the self-proclaimed head of state, Michel Djotodia, yesterday announced measures, but these won’t change the reality of the situation. The prime minister is trying to move things in the right direction as much as possible, and as you underscored, a meeting to review the situation in the Central African Republic will take place tomorrow in N’Djamena.
France said that it was obviously available to support any effort to restore stability but legitimately recognized authorities must be established; this is not the case for the current president.
We will continue to pursue this three-pronged approach focusing on security, stability and freedom.