UN set to vote on CAR peacekeeping mission

Vote on resolution drafted by former colonial power France will pave way for 12,000-strong force in war-torn country.

    CAR has been in chaos since a March 2013 coup, when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the government [AFP]
    CAR has been in chaos since a March 2013 coup, when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the government [AFP]

    The United Nations is preparing to vote on a resolution which would authorise a peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic.

    The moves comes amid reports that at least 30 people have been killed in fighting in the central city of Dekoa, the Associated Press news agency reported.

    The vote on Thursday will approve of a nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force for CAR, which has been torn by mounting violence between Christians and Muslims.

    France, CAR's former colonial power which drafted the resolution, scheduled the vote for Thursday morning, and has predicted that the UN Security Council will vote unanimously in favour of the deployment.

    If the resolution is adopted, the 10,000 UN troops and 1,800 police would take over from more than 5,000 African Union soldiers on September 15 this year.

    A separate 2,000  strong French force in CAR would be authorised to use "all necessary means" to support the new UN force, to be known as MINUSCA.

    The draft resolution expresses serious concern at multiple violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed by both former Seleka elements and anti-Balaka militia including killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.

    The two groups have also been accused of being responsible for detentions, torture, sexual violence against women and children, rape and attacks on civilians.

    The resolution would authorise MINUSCA to help investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law by the armed groups. 

    Once MINUSCA is established, the African Union force on the ground will receive logistical support from the United Nations.

    Latest fighting

    In the latest bout of violence on Thursday, the Associated Press reported that 30 people were killed and many forced to flee their homes. 

    Everaldo De Suza, a priest at the Saint Anne parish in Dekoa, told AP that the fighting began on Tuesday when Christian fighters attacked the town.

    A Christian commander confirmed the fighting but denied that his forces had started it. The death toll could not be independently confirmed, AP reported.

    CAR has been in chaos since a March 2013 coup, when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power and launched a brutal regime.

    Christian Anti-Balaka militiamen attacked Seleka strongholds in the capital, Bangui, in early December, and as the rebel government crumbled in January the anti-Balaka stepped up the violence, forcing tens of thousands of Muslims to flee.

    SOURCE: Associated Press


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