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France mulls further reduction of its troops in Central African Republic by end of the year

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PARIS — The French government considers withdrawing more of its troops from Central African Republic by the end of the year.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Wednesday preparations for elections in CAR seem to go well, which has allowed the French defense ministry to predict further reductions.

Presidential and parliamentary elections are set to be held in CAR in October and November.

French troops have already been reduced from 2,000 to 900 this year. France sent troops to CAR in December 2013 to stabilize the country after sectarian violence erupted, killing at least 5,000 people. A U.N. mission took over peacekeeping duties from an African Union force in September 2014.

The French presence has been tarnished by allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers that are currently under investigation.

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