Potential Hot Spots: November 11, 2002


Libya announced that its troops will withdraw from the Central African Republic (CAR), once a regional peacekeeping force is deployed there. A force of about 200 Libyan soldiers has been in the capital since a coup attempt against President Patasse in May 2001. A new 70 -100 man Libyan unit arrived in Bangui on the 9th, but it was not clear whether they had also come to protect Patasse.

At an early October summit in Libreville, Gabon, the Central African Economic Community (CEMAC) decided to send a peacekeeping force of 300 to 350 men to Bangui to replace the Libyan force and secure the tense CAR border with Chad.
A dozen Gabonese military officers were in Bangui the first week of November, to be followed by 177 Gabonese soldiers (whose training concluded on 2 November). 

Meanwhile, UN workers have ferried over 1,000 Congo refugees across central Africa's Oubangui River to their native lands, saving them from mob reprisals by MLC rebels. The State Department has ordered U.S. government personnel to depart Central African Republic, because of the continued fighting between rebels and government forces in the capital city of Bangui. The U.S. Embassy has suspended operations and the international airport is closed. - Adam Geibel 


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