France invaded the CAR in December 2013, after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.
Paris has deployed 1,600 troops to the country, but the UN-backed intervention force, which includes over 4,000 African Union peacekeepers, is struggling to restore security in the Central African Republic.
The CAR spiraled into chaos in March 2013, when Christian militias launched coordinated attacks on the mostly Muslim Seleka group, who overthrew former President Francois Bozize and brought Michel Djotodia to power.
Both Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye resigned last month after coming under intense pressure over the government’s failure to stem the deadly violence in the African country.
Although the French government has dispatched thousands of troops to the country, but they have appeared to be unable to prevent inter-communal clashes.
The massive search operation follows warnings of a growing campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority by Christian militias. The escalation in the militias’ brutal attacks has forced many Muslims to flee the country. The United Nations has estimated that about two million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
On this week’s INfocus, we travel to CAR to see how international forces, particularly France are using violence to re-colonize the country and how ethnic tensions are being stirred up.