Arab Times

UN sending extra troops:



The UN peacekeepi­ng mission in Central African Republic is adding hundreds of troops and police before next month’s elections, but their arrival is expected to be too late for Pope Francis’ visit to the violent country.

A UN official said Tuesday the mission and the Vatican are discussing security in Central African Republic, under its President Catherine Samba Panza, where a recent surge in killings forced the elections to be delayed from October. Even with more than 11,000 UN troops and police in the country, protecting the pope will be a major security challenge as violence between Christians and Muslims continues in the capital, Bangui, and elsewhere.

In a separate statement Tuesday, the UN announced Panza

that one peacekeepe­r from Cameroon had been killed after fighters confronted members of the UN force at a checkpoint in the town of Batangafo.

The pope is visiting three African countries from Nov 25 to Nov 30, including Kenya and Uganda. Earlier this month, he acknowledg­ed the risks of coming to the Central African Republic but said he wants to promote mercy in the “afflicted and tormented nation.”

The UN official on Tuesday said the additional incoming troops and police are part of the peacekeepi­ng mission’s authorized force, which just over a year after its

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