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France: Calm returning to C. African Republic city

December 9, 2013

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The French ambassador to the U.N. says a “modicum of law and order” has been restored in the capital of the Central African Republic, where 1,600 French troops are on the ground to quiet the latest violence.

Gerard Araud told reporters Tuesday that the disarmament of armed groups has begun in Bangui and is “running smoothly — but the most difficult part is ahead of us.”

Muslim rebels known as Seleka overthrew the government nine months ago, sparking sectarian violence.

Araud also says African Union forces in the country are expected to grow from 3,600 to 6,000, though it will take weeks or months.

Now troops must make their way into the country’s interior. Araud says, “We don’t know the situation in the country. In the eastern part, for instance.”

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