UN Secretary-General asks to send 3,000 additional troops to Central African Republic 2102141

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Defence & Security News - Central African Republic

 
 
Friday, February 21, 2014 08:19 AM
 
UN Secretary-General asks to send 3,000 additional troops to Central African Republic.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to report soon to the Security Council on the outlines of a future UN peacekeeping operation with a robust mandate to protect civilians and promote stability in CAR (Central African Republic). However, he noted, the deployment of a peacekeeping operation, if authorized, will take months.
     
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to report soon to the Security Council on the outlines of a future UN peacekeeping operation with a robust mandate to protect civilians and promote stability in CAR (Central African Republic). However, he noted, the deployment of a peacekeeping operation, if authorized, will take months.
A Rwandan soldier stands guard as members of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) listen to interim President Catherine Samba Panza's speech on February 5, 2014

     

Therefore, he proposed a six-point initiative to address the greatest risks being faced by the people of CAR, beginning with a call for the rapid reinforcement of the AU and French troops now on the ground with additional deployments of at least 3,000 more troops and police.

He also proposed that all international forces in CAR be brought under a single coordinated command, and that the mission of these forces be focused on the most urgent priorities. These include containing the violence, protecting civilians, preventing further displacements, and creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. In addition, the African troops that join this force should be provided with logistic and financial support.

“The crisis that continues to unfold in the Central African Republic poses a test for the entire international community,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to the Security Council, as he outlined a set of measures to address the greatest risks facing the country.

“The situation in the country has been on the agenda of the Security Council for many years now. But today’s emergency is of another, more disturbing magnitude. It is a calamity with a strong claim on the conscience of humankind,” said the United Nations chief.

The conflict erupted when mainly Muslim Séléka rebels launched attacks in December 2012 and has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-Balaka have taken up arms.

The UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, who wrapped up a visit to CAR February 20, said she was “shocked” by burned homes and people so scared by violence that they sleep in the bush at night. She noted that tensions between communities are high, and stressed the need for more troops on the ground to provide security and protection across the country.

The African Union and France have deployed troops to CAR to help stem the violence, and Mr. Ban voiced his gratitude to them for saving many lives and providing protection where they can.

“However, given the scale and geographic breadth of the violence, the security requirements far exceed the capabilities of the number of international troops now deployed,” he stated. “In places where there are no international forces, the choice for far too many civilians is to flee or be killed.

     
Some few days ago, France has decided to send an 400 additional troops to the Central African Republic, raising its total deployment to 2,000.
French troops patrol in armoured vehicle in Bangui, Central African Republic
     
Some few days ago, France has decided to send an 400 additional troops to the Central African Republic, raising its total deployment to 2,000.

The French military has been working with 5,500 troops from African countries to end more than a year of deadly ethnic and sectarian violence.

In January 2014, The European Union took the decision to send 1,000 soldiers to help stabilize Central African Republic. Meeting in Brussels, the ministers approved an outline plan to send a battalion-sized force to the violence-torn country but detailed military plans still need to be worked out. It is not yet clear which countries will provide the troops.

EU officials hope the EU force, which will be based around the capital Bangui and its airport, will start arriving in Central African Republic by the end of February.

It will stay for up to six months before handing over to an African Union (AU) force that is building up its strength on the ground.

EU foreign ministers said the aim was to protect civilians and to create conditions for supplying humanitarian aid.

 

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