30 December 2013

Central African Republic: Government Rejects UN Military Intervention

The government of the Central African Republic, CAR, has ruled out any United Nations military intervention in the country for now, arguing that the African Union-led MISCA peacekeeping force that took up duties on December 19, 2013 should be given time to try to bring the situation under control.

Radio France Internationale, RFI yesterday, December 30, 2013, cited Guy-Simplice Kodégué, the spokesman for the Presidency, as saying that it was too early to envisage such a deployment. He added that as a sovereign nation, any such deployment needed the approval of CAR's government. Reports say the government's strong reaction was sequel to talks on Friday, December 27, 2013 on speeding up planning for a possible UN peacekeeping force in the conflict-ridden country.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki- moon, discussed the "grave situation" with French President, François Hollande over the phone. Ban Ki-moon said, as requested by the Security Council, the UN had already started contingency planning and preparations for the potential transformation of MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

Proponents of UN military deployment and the absorption of MISCA into the UN mission argue that the new force will be able to protect civilians with greater efficiency. Also, a UN mission will enjoy regular funding unlike MISCA that is financed through voluntary contributions. UN peacekeepers generally have better logistics and equipment like armoured cars and combat helicopters that could be decisive in reining in anti-Balaka and Séléka militia men.

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