Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access in the war-torn country.
Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the Council authorized the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) through 30 April 2015.
The new mission will take over the responsibilities of the African-led International Support Mission, known as MISCA, and, as from 15 September 2014, will initially comprise up to 10,000 military personnel, including 240 military observers and 200 staff officers, as well as 1,800 police personnel, including 1,400 formed police unit personnel and 400 individual police officers, and 20 corrections officers.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid a visit to the CAR this past weekend to focus the world's attention on a crisis that has been marked by widespread atrocities and suffering, and to call on the country's citizens to heed the lessons of neighbouring Rwanda and stop the violence.
The UN chief's visit came amid a recent escalation in fighting in the CAR capital, Bangui, between Christians and Muslims. The crisis, which began in December 2012, has left thousands of people dead, and 2.2 million, about half the population of CAR, in need of humanitarian aid. More than 650,000 people are still internally displaced, and over 290,000 have fled to neighbouring countries in search of refuge.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Central African Republic on 5 April 2014 to shine a light on the crisis in the country. He met with internally displaced people near the airport and those living in the grounds of Bangui's main mosque. He also addressed the National Transitional Council. UN Photoo/Evan Schneider/BINUCA/Samir Afridi