Central African Republic: UN mission determined to fulfil mandate despite attacks on peacekeepers

Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 13, 2017-Mareeg-The United Nations envoy for the Central African Republic today warned against increasing attacks on civilians and peacekeeping personnel while stressing the need to reenergize the political process to achieve sustainable peace in the conflict-torn country.

“The intensity of the attacks, their premeditated nature and the targeting of ethnic minorities, are a reminder of the darkest moments of the Central African political and security crisis,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, in his briefing to the Security Council.

“The new and disturbing fact is the systematic and fierce aggression against the peacekeepers,” he added.

The envoy provided an update on the situation in Bangassou, where “political spoilers” demonstrated their intention of carrying out a de facto ethnic cleansing of the town. He said that the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) has gradually regained control of the town, but anti-Balaka elements continue to pose a serious threat to civilians and peacekeepers.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. According to the UN, more than half the population is in dire need of assistance. Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.

The situation in the southern-central prefectures of Ouaka and Mbomou remains complex as fighting continues between ex- Séléka factions the Popular Front for the Central African Renaissance (FPRC) and Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC).

He also expressed deep concern about the evolving situation in Bria, where some 80 per cent of the civilian population has been displaced.

Meanwhile, an outbreak of violence in the northwest prefectures of Ouham and Ouham Pende, was abated through a tripartite local mediation initiative at the end of May, with local and traditional authorities firmly in the lead and MINUSCA in a facilitation role.

The security situation in Bangui remains relatively calm thanks to continuous and integrated political and military efforts.

By A warsame

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