Potential Hot Spots: July 30, 2003


France will train and equip three Central African Republic (CAR) army battalions and some gendarmerie (police) units, to help restore security. The first battalion and a gendarmerie mobile unit will be trained and equipped before the end of the year, as well as 30 territorial "brigades" (15 of them before the end of the year). 

The French also intend to reinforce their own presence in the country, where they have stationed about 250 troops since March 15. France has also provided funding for equipping the CEMAC peacekeeping force.

The government, with the support of the UN Development Program (UNDP), also began vocational training for 220 men selected from 1,500 civilians who surrendered firearms during a recent amnesty.

A UN mission was traveling through the towns in the north, assessing their humanitarian needs. Wars tend to disrupt the farming cycle, and NGOs have been unable to reach the north and these people have yet to receive any food aid. - Adam Geibel


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