By CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr
American military aircraft will fly African and European peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, which is in the midst of a bloody internal conflict between various proclaimed Christian and Muslim militias and other rebel factions.
The decision announced the Pentagon was followed by a statement from President Barack Obama, who called on the country's citizens to reject violence and urged the transitional government to join "respected leaders" in Muslim and Christian communities in calling for "calm and peace."
"Individuals who are engaging in violence must be held accountable in accordance with the law. Meanwhile, as forces from other African countries and France work to restore security, the United States will support their efforts to protect civilians," Obama said.
Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog said "the United States is joining the international community" in aiding the peackeeping effort "because of our belief that immediate action is required to avert a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe."
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel responded after talking with his French counterpart, Yves Le Drian, on Sunday from Afghanistan, Woog said, adding that France asked for "limited assistance."
The request for near term help involves U.S. air support to enable the prompt deployment of African forces "to prevent the further spread of sectarian violence," Woog said.
Violence has raged in the former French colony east of Cameroon since a coalition of rebels deposed President Francois Bozize in March. It was the latest in a series of coups since the nation gained independence. Bozize fled the country after his ouster.
Left uncontrolled, militia groups are uniting along religious lines. Christian vigilante groups have formed to battle Seleka, the predominantly Muslim coalition behind the President's removal.
More than 400,000 people - nearly 10% of the population - have been internally displaced, according to the United Nations.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution last week authorizing military intervention by an African Union-led force backed by French troops to protect civilians, restore humanitarian access and stabilize the country.
As part of the effort, the United States will fly troops from Burundi to the Central African Republic capital of Bangui.
The Pentagon will provide security for its planes, but there is no indication about the number of troops involved. The operation is expected to be relatively small.
Violence on the ground, which has included machetes, knives, rifles and grenades, will be a "big factor" in any U.S. operation, a U.S. official told CNN.
"It's a concern," the official said.
French President Francois Hollande said in Paris over the weekend that the goal is to hold elections once security is restored.
Those displaced include people hiding in the bush without shelter, food, or drinking water, Doctors Without Borders has said.
In a statement on Monday, the international medical organization called for all parties to let the wounded and sick "safely obtain medical care," and for "an end to violence and threats against patients, civilians, and medical staff" nationwide.
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Having served as a staff officer at the US's European HQ I can assure you this happens ALL the time. We support dozens of these ops each year.
Why should we get involved?
Because we are the only country with the logistics capability and the will to do so.
Thank you, murf. I couldn't agree more. We need to be even more aggressive than we are now and achieve what neither Germany nor J apan could during WW2!
A fighteraircraft is a forces aircraft designed primarily designed for air-to-air combat opposed to other aircraft, having the status of conflicting to bombers and attack aircraft, whose key mission is to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its hurry, maneuverability, and insignificant size next of kin to other combat aircraft.
Another ignorant comment from another weak minded Tea Partier above. Some people never wise up!!!
Bad boy, George! How are to get a decent war off the ground with free thinkers like you bellyaching about it? You make me believe in true censorship, really you do!!!!!!!!
let's get real, Islamic terrorists are posing threats to these poor African nations. Islam is spreading like a wildfire. STOP them before it is too late.
Just ignore to stupid post above, folks. It's only Phunnie boy again belching out his ignorance as usual, trying to make a fool out of me!
Sorry folks for the misprint above. I meant "that stupid post", not "to stupid post". Like I said before, whether to be funny or to display his true ignorance here, Phunnie boy does not fail to say the most ignorant things here!!!
Your message should state "Militant extremisst who happens to be of the Islamic Muslim faith....not Islam... Just like militant extremists who happens to be of the Christian faith.... not Christians"
Please excuse the typos...
Reblogged this on VAREP.
with in no time the warships were surrounding syria , but when it comes to aftrica US will never get involved because there is no oil there
Thank you, hesitant involvement. How true that is! This is a shining example of just how much the all powerful M.I.C. in Washington runs our foreign policies and gives kickbacks to Congress who supports these interventionist policies of ours.
Interesting that you list only the U.S...You're right, its not in our national interests to get involved militarily in the CAR conflict. But the 2nd, 3rd and 4th order effects on not paying attention to Syria are far more reaching than the civil war in the CAR. Our economic well being would be substantially affected by the Syria conflict spreading outside its borders(thats why our military was rushed to be in-place so quickly) and is, therefore, one of our top priorities. Just like EVERY other country in the world. EVERYONE doesn't get "involved" too much in Africa, for the very same reasons.
On humanitarian grounds, many countries, though they have the capacity to do something, hardly do a thing. Not too many boxes of food saying "made in China", "made in Russia" showing up in these impoverished countries, but "made in the USA" dominates. The U.S. donated $4.3 BILLION in humanitarian assistance worldwide in 2011, with the EU coming in a "close second" at $1.8B (Really? that's 11 countries with a combined population of 340 MILLION to the U.S.'s 317 MILLION). Oh an don't forget those generous Ruskies at $29M and those such giving Chinese at $87M...
Oh those heartless Americans...
Trevor you rascal stop messing up the Amerihaters with facts and reality. You mess up their narrative. Without their narrative they have nothing.
Now Liz why would aid's be sent to Southern Africa, as though the region is in a 'Humanitarian Catastrophe'?
Well, after ignoring most of Africa for decades, the US has finally realized that the Chinese have built inroads to access the mineral rich areas of Africa. The only difference, between European colonists of the past and the present day Chinese "investments" is they are now building infrastructure to get their goods to market sans armed force. Like it or not, we need to show our interest in forgotten, but rich in natural resources, areas of Africa!
Actually Portland, the Chinese are doing a lot of good in Africa these days. All the European colonial powers did was to exploit their natural resources and impoverish the people there, the British being the worst among them.
Press with list that does not benefit the Chinese in any shape or form (ie humanitarian aid). Don't tell us the Chinese are doing "good" in Africa for the exclusive "good" of Africans...
Seleka, the predominantly Muslim coalition behind the President's removal is the issue in CAR. Muslim terrorism is not unique to the CAR, or Africa, Muslim terrorism is a problem across the globe.
France and the UN have this one........let's stay out of it.
in all conflicts there are humanitarian needs....if the hospital staff feel to threatened to do their jobs, they can't go there to help....war does not increase the value of life...that's why
So when are we sending aid to the Boers in Southern Africa???
leave well enough alone
Why is President Obama getting us involved in another military conflict? Isn't "limited" involvement still involvement?
It always begins this way. First, support then comes "advisers" then comes Marines to protect the advisers, followed by "shock and awe" or some other major military involvement on a grand scale. No, we never learn! When we finally destroy everything, then we hold elections!!!!
Why is it that we still have active Ku Klux Klans in our country? Why is it that after a terrible and bloody civil war do many southerners still proudly fly the Confederate flag? Military victories do not erase hate. Hate is a much easier emotion to maintain than peace and acceptance of all your neighbors.
Because Southerners don't drink Northern KKKommunist KKKool-Aid. Stop watching MSLSD and start reading a history book that wasn't written by Common Core.
Has anyone noticed that it was Eisenhower(R) that ended the Korean Conflict as an ongoing battle, that it was Nixon(R) that ended the Vietnam War and that it was Reagan(R) that ended the cold war, that al-Maliki accelerated the pullout of U.S forces from Iraq over Obama's goal and that Karzai is accelerating the pullout of U.S. forces from Afghan over Obama's goal? The DNC has everyone bamboozled that it is always the (R) that start wars and (D) that end them.
Wrong on two counts, mutantsubhuman. First of all, it was Mikhail Gorbachev rather than Ronald Reagan who ended the Cold War and we have troops in Iraq today, although the right-wing media never mentions it. Then again, Richard Nixon did have a "secret plan" to end the Vietnam War but that plan was the use of nuclear weapons against North Vietnam. Of course this would mean death for our POW's there too so Nixon backed out of his sinister plan 4 times.
Quinton, you seem to be one of the few people who post here who actually knows what's really going on in the world. It seems that those who favor our senseless interventionist policies abroad never finished grade school. Theirs is the kind of ignorance that truly threatens this country even more than the Islam Extremists do now!
General, I hadn't noticed Quinton's response. You are spot on. This is why I no longer argue with 3 year olds.
Obama just seeing where else he can spend our money.
Death and Life are for God to decide not Man
How dare you imply our gov't is not god!
It looks like the right-wing thugs in Washington are at it again, dragging us into more of their useless and unnecessary wars as always!!! What stupidity.
Stupid is a label I would apply to someone who forgets the party affiliation of the Commander in Chief, whom was set on starting World War III in Syria.
Liberal Audacity, and typical cant ownership for actions. Or lying is ok.
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Heard President Obama referred to as many things, but never a right wing thug. Guess you do not know President Obama decides this type of thing. Perhaps you should brush up on Government 101.
1. We're not sending troops or any american citizens anywhere. IF you read the article clearly it states that they will be using our resources (planes and crew) to send EUROPEAN AND AFRICAN peace keepers on the ground. Nothing about american troops.
2. You say that its useless but how many times have history shown that there needs to be intervention. There does need to human rights standard that all people should be considerate of. If you knew anything about CAR or African history, you'd known that what the CAR is going through is very similar to Darfur and Rwanda and it could easily turn into that. So while you say that its useless, you also say differently when you see the pictures of starving children and millions of dead innocent bodies. Make up your mind.
Who do you think flies those planes? Guards them at these remote locations?
@Michael They'll have a plane full of armed peacekeepers. In addition the pilots/load masters have guns when they land in war zones. They'll probably be there less than a few hours and they'll probably land at a commercial airport, not some dirt landing strip in the middle of a battle field.
Obama is a right wing thug???