US embassy evacuated as rebels surge in Central African Republic
The turmoil in the landlocked African nation has prompted calls for France to intervene militarily in its former colony. 'Those days are gone,' said French President François Hollande.
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Also fueling the turmoil is Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Uganda-based Lord’s Resistance Army, who is believed to be hiding in southeastern Central African Republic. Mr. Kony, indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in the brutal fight in Uganda, is the focus of a global manhunt. US military advisers have been dispatched to Uganda to help search for him.Skip to next paragraph
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Further west, France has been resisting calls for greater involvement in civil war in Mali, where Islamist rebels have seized the northern part of the former colony, and imposed harsh sharia law. That has raised fears of a power vacuum, allowing Al-Qaeda-linked terror groups a base for operations.
The United Nations Security Council last week approved a resolution that authorizes a US- and European-backed African force to rebuild Mali's military and to prepare it for a possible offensive against the separatists and extremists. The French-sponsored resolution also authorized military intervention by a 3,300-strong force of soldiers from the Economic Community of West African States, under the training and command of Gen. Francois Lecointre, who has experience in Africa and Bosnia.
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[Editor's note: The headline on the original version of this story had a typo]