Friday’s visit to Bangui is Hollande’s third – his last trip, in 2014, came shortly after the French military force, Sangaris, had been deployed in response to the country’s civil war.
The French operation counted 2,000 soldiers at one point; now it is down to 650 and should have merged with the international and European forces in the country by the end of the year.
Officials told the AFP news agency that France’s work in CAR was changing from peacekeeping to helping reconstruction.
The top United Nations official in the Central African Republic (CAR) met this week with the new National Assembly, which took office after a series of successful elections supported by UN peacekeepers in the country.
Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known by its French acronym, MINUSCA, said the operation’s contribution was crucial to the success of this process.
“We worked hand-in-hand with the Transitional Authorities, other key international partners of the G8-CAR and the whole UN family in the country,” Mr. Onanga-Anyanga said, referring to the group which includes representatives of the UN, the African Union, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), European Union (EU), France, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), United States, and the World Bank.