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French President Francois Hollande praises South Africa for continental peacekeeping efforts

French President Francois Hollande has praised South Africa for its efforts to stabilize conflict-prone parts of Africa.

On a visit to South Africa, Hollande noted Monday that South Africa has contributed troops to a United Nations mission with a mandate to help fight rebels in eastern Congo. He also commented on South Africa's role in regional efforts to ensure peaceful elections later this month in Madagascar, as well as South African support for France's intervention in Mali earlier this year to fight Islamic militants.

France has said that it might increase its troop presence in Central African Republic to back an African Union peacekeeping force, going beyond protecting French interests in the country.