5 December 2013

Central African Republic: UN-Backed Troops Set to Deploy in CAR

Washington, DC — The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on Thursday to approve UN intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR), giving African and French troops already in the country the go-ahead to deploy.

The French ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, told the BBC World Service programme, Newsday, on Thursday that there was unanimous support for a resolution before the council, and the intervention was supported by African nations.

He expressed the hope that UN-mandated troops would improve security for the people of the CAR within days. French and African forces already in the country were simply waiting for the "green light" to act, he said.

"In the coming days the Africans and the French are going to restore law and order in Bangui," he added. "After that we are going to secure the roads going to the main cities..." This would allow humanitarian aid to be sent to people who had fled their homes and congregated in towns.

"The... authorities have requested our arrival, and what we are doing is really supporting the African forces," he said. "We are the only Western country ready to step in."

Agence France-Presse reportsthat the draft resolution to be considered by the Security Council on Thursday will give the 2,500-strong African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (Misca) a 12-month mandate to restore order, and that French troops will have permission to use "all necessary measures" to support the mission.

AFP said the Misca force would rise to 3,600, and become an Africa Union force on December 19. France planned to boost its force to 1,200 from its current level of 600.

Bloomberg reports that 500 troops from the Republic of Congo arrived earlier this week, as well as 200 French communications and logistics personnel.

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