France says that although it's ending its peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, it would maintain a presence in its former colony. France's withdrawal has left security largely in the hands of the UN mission, MINUSCA. The French presence is due to fall below 300 by early next year with the remaining troops deployed as part of a European military training mission. France launched Operation Sangaris in December 2013 to try to end a cycle of sectarian violence in the country. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has been visiting the country - and assuring authorities there.