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Rwandan peacekeepers promised to CAfrican Republic

Saturday - 12/28/2013, 8:50pm  ET

A boy holds a beam stripped from a house said to have belonged to a Seleka officer who had been attacking the surrounding Christian population, in the Castor neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. Local residents were dismantling the house and a burnt out car piece by piece on Saturday, and claimed they had chased out the heavily armed former rebel owner with machetes and grenades two days earlier. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- The African Union's commissioner for peace and security has announced that a contingent of Rwandan peacekeepers will deploy to the Central African Republic, where nine other peacekeepers have been killed in less than a month.

After touring the country's troubled capital on Saturday, Smail Chergui said that the Rwandan troops will join the 3,800 African Union peacekeepers already stationed there as early as January 2014.

The African Union force in the Central African Republic has been dogged by accusations that its contingent from Chad -- made up of Muslim soldiers -- have sided with the Muslim rebels who overran Bangui nine months ago, seizing power in a coup which ousted the nation's Christian president. In the past week, reporters saw the Chadian troops open fire on a crowd of Christian demonstrators.

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