Hollande to visit restive C.Africa Republic, Nigeria

AFP , Friday 6 May 2016

French President Francois Hollande will visit the Central African Republic on May 13 to pledge France's support for peace efforts in the restive country, his office said Friday.

Hollande will go on to Nigeria the following day to attend a regional summit focused on fighting the jihadist group Boko Haram.

In the Central African Republic, Hollande will "pledge his support for the peace and the stabilisation of the country," a presidential spokesman said.

But the visit is sensitive because of accusations that French peacekeepers sexually abused children in the country.

There are currently three investigations under way into the accusations against the French troops.

Inter-communal violence between Muslim and Christian militias has killed thousands of people in the Central African Republic since 2013.

France deployed a peacekeeping force in 2013 to curb the unrest.

In Nigeria, the summit on Boko Haram will also be attended by the United States, Britain and the three countries neighbouring Nigeria which have also been the target of attacks from the jihadists -- Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people since 2009, according to World Bank figures.

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