The African Union (AU) says it wants to help stabilize the security situation in Central African Republic (CAR) to help stabilize the country, which has been wracked by violence recently according to AU spokesman, El Ghassim Wane.
Wane says the AU supports all efforts including dialogue between the transitional government and militia groups to resolve the security challenges the CAR faces.
Interim President and former rebel leader Michel Djotodia said officials of his administration are in contact with militias to address the security situation in the country. CAR has faced increasing sectarian violence including torture and killings following the overthrow of President Francois Bozize last March.
“The priority for us currently is to improve the security situation in light of the recent incidence in Bangui, [where] hundreds of people were killed. And it is important that every effort is made to bring the situation under control so as to facilitate the political foundation,” said Wane.
The AU’s Peace and Security Council in July recently boosted the planned African-led international support mission in the CAR [MISCA] force from 3,652 personnel to 6,000. The force will include military, police and civilians.
“Our [objective] aims at improving the security situation on the ground,” said Wane.
The African led force is scheduled to take over from troops from the Economic Community of Central African States [MICOPAX].
“The transfer of authority between the two missions is taking place on the 19th
of December,” said Wane. “The leadership of MISCA is already in place and [is] already in Bangui working towards the successful takeover of the MICOPAX force by the African Union.”
Wane says the AU is working with the transitional government and other groups such as NGO’s to stabilize the country.
“Politically, our efforts are aimed at facilitating the successful conclusion of the transition, which is expected to last a maximum of 18 months. And we are working closely with, ECCAS [Economic Community of Central African States], which is leading the process with the support of the United Nations and bilateral partners, towards a successful conclusion of the transition,” said Wane.
France has deployed over 1,000 troops to boost its military presence in its former colony to try and stabilize security.
Some observers say the African-led troops will not be able to stabilize the security situation, following recent clashes that forced scores to flee their homes both in the capital, and other parts of the country. But, Wane said the AU troops will be capable of stabilizing the situation.
“We believe that MISCA combined with the French forces should be in a position contain the security situation and improve it,” said Wane.
“Already some action has been taken by the MICOPAX force and the French force both in Bangui and the countryside,” said Wane. “Clearly there are challenges and we intend to build on the work that has been done ECCAS and coordinating our efforts on the ground with French troops to work towards the speedy improvement of the security situation on the ground.”
Clottey interview with El Ghassim Wane, an AU spokesman