Belgium to support French in Central African Republic

The Belgian Air Force is to provide two transport planes to support the French intervention in the Central African Republic. The Belgian planes are set to make their first flights to the troubled former French colony before the end of the year.

Around 1,600 French troops have already arrived in the Central African Republic. Together with the African peace-keeping force they will try and restore order to a country that has been plunged into chaos after a spate of sectarian massacres in recent months.

France had asked Belgium for support and on Friday morning the Federal Cabinet gave its approval for two transport planes to be used to help the “Centrafrique” operation. The first flights are likely to be made before the end of the year.

An Airbus A330 will be used for strategic flights between France and the Central African Republic. Belgium will also send a C-130 transport plane for what are described as “tactical flights”.

The C-130 will be based in the capital of the Central African Republic Bangui and will be used for internal flights and flights to countries that border the Central African Republic.