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.
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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs