French Troops Deployed to CAR; US Travel Warning Issued

Update on situation in the Central African Republic from The Hunting Report: www.huntingreport.com

Hunters hoping to go on safari to Central African Republic (CAR) in early 2014 should be aware of escalating violence and civil turmoil in that country. The US State Department issued a new Travel Warning against CAR last month and today the UN unanimously approved the deployment of African and French forces there. France immediately sent 250 soldiers today to bolster the 600 French troops already in Bangui protecting French interests and the airport. The French forces, expected to grow to 1,000, are now charged with helping restore order to the country.

The US embassy in Bangui remains closed. Continuing Hunting Report subscribers will remember our Email Extra Bulletin from December 2012 warning that the US State Department had evacuated embassy personnel from the country. Clashes between Seleka forces, which took over the country in March 2013, and local rebels have increased in and around Bangui, leaving numerous dead and wounded. Rebels have managed to arm themselves with everything from machetes to rocket launchers. Furthermore, the clashing groups seem to be divided not only by politics but also according to religion. United Nations officials fear the country in spiraling into genocide. They report that more than 400,000 people have been displaced, with many of them heading to the bush.

When all the trouble began in early 2013, most of the safari operators had their camps ransacked, vehicles stolen and storage facilities in Bangui looted. Most cancelled their seasons. We know of at least two who had already decided not to return in 2014 before the current developments. See our upcoming January issue of The Hunting Report for more details on who is doing what in CAR for 2014 and beyond.

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