Central Africa Republic Risks Setback in its Peacekeeping Mission

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On Thursday, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic cautioned that the country risked setback in its peacekeeping efforts. That’s because rebel attacks in the country had escalated, and as such, they could quickly sabotage efforts to restore peace. He called on the UN peacekeepers to maximize the civilians’ protection and ensure they had access to humanitarian aid.

The Insurgencies and Peacekeeping

While addressing the insurgencies, the United Nations Security Council, Mankeur Ndiaye, stated that the Central African Republic was not any better. He noted that a new rebel group, the Coalition for Patriots of change, had launched an offensive attacking the UN peacemakers. The armed groups had recently staged attacks that left seven UN peacemakers dead. According to his observation, the country was under unrest.

Mr. Mankeur believes that the country’s situation started worsening last year on 27th December after the re-election of President Faustin Archange Touadera. Mr. Faustin’s victory sparked reactions from President Bozize supporters who were not happy. Reports allege that Mr. Bozize and his allies play a role in the current situation in the country. I.e., they may have incited the violence which erupted in the country after the constitutional court rejected Bozize’s candidacy in December.

The previous week, tensions surged when rebels opposed Touadera’s regime attempted to invade Bangui, the country’s capital. It has been nearly eight years since such an ambush occurred in the state. Rumors made rounds that the militia group was targetting the officers who were some kilometers from the capital. However, their surprise was not successful as security forces and UN peacekeepers repelled the attack. Although some security forces sustained injuries and some rebels succumbed.

Inter-ethnic Violence

It is not the first time that the Central African Republic reports cases of violence. The chaos root back in 2013 when ethnic conflicts dominated the country. Amid those times, the Muslim Seleka had conquered the region. And apparently, they were against the then regime, President Bozize. Therefore, they would stage conflicts now and then, trying to overturn his government.

Nevertheless, it was not long before Muslims in the country became a topic of concern. People started looking at them as a threat to government security. Therefore people started fighting the Muslims; some were beaten to death, their mosques destroyed, and thousands evacuated from Bangui.

Weak Chain of Command

According to Mr. Ndiaye, the country’s rebel attacks had surged because the Central African Republic forces had a week chain of command. Hence the militia groups were taking advantage of that. Ndiaye stressed that they needed to increase more troops to join the mission to have strengthened police and penal administration to enhance mobility.

“We need a substantial increase of uniformed troops in the United Nations mission. The police and the penal administration must be strengthened to give us greater mobility,” Ndiaye said.

In response to the surging attacks, the UN added more peacekeepers from South Africa who would stick around for several months to restore order. Ndiaye pledged to the UN to keep adding more peacemakers in the future in case of another ambush.

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