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UK in talks to help France with CAR logistics

Thursday - 12/5/2013, 4:20pm  ET

CASSANDRA VINOGRAD
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- Britain is discussing offering logistical support to France for its military operation in the Central African Republic, officials said Thursday, an effort that could mirror U.K. assistance for a previous French intervention in Mali.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday authorized increased military action by France and African troops to try to end near-anarchy in the impoverished country.

The authorization is expected to lead to an increase in troops for an African Union-led force and French troops.

The U.K. defense ministry said it is in discussions with France about providing "limited logistical support," but that sending U.K. combat troops "is not on the table."

A French defense official said the French hope that Britain can help ferry in troops from African countries that contribute to the international mission in CAR. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter, declined to identify the types of aircraft that Britain might provide -- but it would likely involve military transport aircraft.

Britain's previously has used transport aircraft -- specifically C-17 transport planes -- to assist French intervention efforts in Africa.

The U.K. provided two C-17 transport aircraft to carry foreign troops and military equipment to Mali. It also provided logistics support.

Central African Republic has seen an upsurge in Muslim-Christian violence along with widespread killings, torture and rapes.

French officials have warned that the former colony is on the verge of genocide.

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Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten in Paris contributed to this report.

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Follow Cassandra Vinograd at http://twitter.com/CassVinograd


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