Civil society groups in Central African Republic (CAR) have called for a protest march on 8 November against French "manipulation", despite a CAR government spokesperson denying local reports that France will call for the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping troops unless the government insists on Russian military personnel leaving the country.
France recently re-engaged in CAR, with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian last week announcing EUR24 million (USD27 million) in aid and the dispatch of 1,400 assault rifles, within UN rules, for the CAR armed forces (Forces armées centrafricaines: FACA). In addition, French Defence Minister Florence Parly warned Russia against "opportunism", stating its presence in CAR risked further destabilising the country.
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