US Provides Airlift Support in Central Africa

The United States will provide airlift support to enable African forces to deploy promptly to prevent the further spread of sectarian violence in the Central African Republic, announced Pentagon Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog on Monday. The US support comes after French Minister of Defense Yves Le Drian made a request for limited assistance to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel when the two spoke in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Dec. 8, said Woog. In response, Hagel directed US Africa Command to begin transporting forces from Burundi to the CAR, in coordination with France, said Woog. French forces, under the authority of a UN Security Council resolution, are assisting the African Union-led mission to provide humanitarian assistance in the CAR and establish an environment that supports a political transition to a democratically elected government there.