France will launch a military operation in the Central African Republic “immediately” to prevent a humanitarian disaster after violence escalated in the Capital Bangui, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
He made the remarks after the UN Security Council authorized military operations by France in the country. “Given the emergency, I decided to act immediately, that is to say, from that night,” Hollande said.
“… France had been called to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, it will be there… This intervention will be fast and I’m sure of its success,” he added.
Paris has already deployed 600 troops at the capital Banguit to protect French interests and citizens. The number “will be doubled within a few days if not a few hours,” according to Hollande.
At the request of the United Nations, the People’s Liberation Army sent the troops, made up of 35 engineers, 65 medical workers and 35 soldiers, to join the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali for eight months.
A 135-strong peacekeeping troop left for Mali on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, evening, in the first time China’s army has sent security forces as part of a peacekeeping mission.
The Chinese peacekeepers, all from a Harbin-based contingent, will be tasked with repairing roads and bridges, safeguarding peace and stability, and providing medical assistance. This is China’s 30th UN peacekeeping mission since 1990, but this is the first time China has sent security forces on such a mission. The troops are also equipped with a lot of Chinese-designed and manufactured military equipment, in another major difference from previous missions.
Murielle Delaporte, a respected French military analyst, was embedded with French forces in Mali for 10 days in late April and offers this early look at lessons learned by France, and by her allies.
French forces appear to have succeeded in Mali. They blunted the mad progress of Islamist extremist forces during Operation Serval and drove them back to the northern mountains – where some of whom blew themselves up rather than surrender when faced with defeat.
The first phase of Operation Serval, as the French incursion into Mali was known, was a genuine military success. Maybe, as one former French Foreign Legion officer observed, Serval stands as one of the few French military victories since the Cold War.
During three months of fighting France lost six soldiers and suffered 200 wounded, while forces from neighboring Chad — who reportedly fought with verve and effectiveness — lost more.
Osprey Publishing has announced book number 31 in their fantastic RAID series, “Gothic Serpent – Black Hawk Down Mogadishu 1993″ – due to be released in May 2012.
“This book tells the story of Task Force Ranger – a unit of US Rangers and Special Forces – and their attempt to capture the lieutenants of the Somali warlord Muhamed Farrah Aideed, during the 1993 United Nations’ humanitarian relief mission.
What started as a simple snatch-and-grab mission quickly degenerated into a desperate battle for survival when US Black Hawk helicopters were struck by rocket-propelled grenades and crashed into the streets of Mogadishu. Racing to save the crew, Task Force Ranger was surrounded by mobs of hostile Somali gunmen.
The battle in the city raged all night as the better-equipped and better-trained US forces kept the nearly overwhelming numbers of Somalis at bay. Finally, battered, bloodied, and low on ammunition, the Task Force was rescued by a combined UN and US relief force and extracted to safety.
Containing detailed maps and declassified information, this is a dramatic retelling of a brutal battle that had a far-reaching impact on US military policy.”