News / Africa

UN Considers Options in Central African Republic

FILE - Child soldiers of the Seleka coalition sits on a pickup truck near the Presidential palace in Bangui, March 25, 2013.
FILE - Child soldiers of the Seleka coalition sits on a pickup truck near the Presidential palace in Bangui, March 25, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council is considering options for stemming violence and restoring the state’s authority in the Central African Republic, including the possibility of deploying a U.N. peacekeeping mission. 

Warnings are coming from many quarters that the situation in the Central African Republic is on a downward spiral of lawlessness, humanitarian need, human rights abuses and a lack of governance that could have ramifications beyond its borders.

The situation has been volatile and unstable since rebels from the Séléka coalition overthrew the government of President Francois Bozizé in March. Meanwhile, inter-communal tensions are simmering between Muslims and Christians, leading to attacks and reprisals.

Currently, the regional group ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) plans to transition its mission to an African Union-led mission of about 3,600 troops known as MISCA on December 19.

The Central African Republic’s transitional authorities have also asked France to increase its soldiers in the country, which currently number about 400. Reports say they will be tripled to about 1,200.

French Ambassador Gérard Araud told reporters after Security Council discussions Monday that Paris would be reinforcing its presence in the Central African Republic.

“Our force will have, in the first instance -- it will be a bridging force before the African force is fully operational," he said. "And after that, when the African force is fully operational, we will support the African force.”

In a report earlier this month, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that the implications for the region of the growing insecurity in the Central African Republic should not be underestimated.  He said that a failure to act decisively now could make future intervention more costly and complex.

Ban laid out five options for international support to the CAR, including bilateral and multilateral support; United Nations support funded through a trust fund; and the possible transformation of the African support mission into a U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Ban’s deputy, Jan Eliasson, told the Security Council that a recent U.N. assessment mission to the country found a majority of support for a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

“The transformation of MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation, with an estimated strength of 6,000 troops and 1,700 police personnel, would lay the foundation for transparent, accountable and resilient institutions, governed by the rule of law," Eliasson said.

But Ambassador Araud cautioned that a U.N. peacekeeping mission would not be deployed soon.

He said France planned to circulate a draft resolution Monday night that would call for support for the African Union force since it is already on the ground. The resolution would also ask the U.N. secretary-general to report back to the Security Council in three months about the possible transformation of MISCA into a U.N. force.

“We have the African force; the African countries are committed to act," Araud said  "So the emergency commends that we support the African force, but we don’t exclude the peacekeeping operation down the road, but we need the report to do it.”

Araud said France hopes the draft resolution will be adopted by the 15-nation council next week.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid