France aims to scale back its military presence in Central African Republic by the end of the year, its defence minister said in a French media interview, as Paris continues to count on forthcoming elections to ease tension in the turbulent African country.
France currently has around 900 troops in the country. That is down from a 2,000-strong force it deployed after widespread violence broke out in 2013 involving Muslim-led rebels and Christian militias, but is well above a pre-crisis force of 300.
The United Nations said on Friday it had allegations that peacekeepers from Georgia, France and another unnamed European country sexually abused children while deployed in the Central African Republic.
The alleged crimes, including rapes, mostly committed in 2014, came to light only in recent weeks and the national authorities concerned, as well as the European Union, have been informed and are investigating, it said.
The Express Tribune