Hollande Urges Africa to Create Regional Security Force

As France embarks on second military mission on continent


French President Francois Hollande urged African leaders on Friday to take a grip on their continent's security by creating a long-delayed regional force, after Paris was forced into its second military operation this year.

Paris deployed troops to Central African Republic on Friday after it won U.N. backing for a mission to quell mounting religious violence in the nation of 4.6 million people. That followed a massive French operation to dislodge al Qaeda-linked fighters from the deserts of northern Mali this year.

Hollande told some 40 African leaders, gathered at a two-day summit in Paris to discuss security, that the crisis in Central African Republic showed the urgent need to press ahead with the African Standby Force (ASF).