Central African Republic: UN Eases Arms Embargo

CAR armed forces.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to ease the arms embargo on the Central African Republic, where the government signed a peace deal with 14 armed groups.

The French-drafted resolution said there is an “urgent need for the CAR authorities to train and equip their defense and security forces to be able to respond proportionately to threats to the security of all citizens.”

Conditions for easing the embargo include limits on the caliber of the weapons security forces can have and banning the sale or transfer of the weapons.

In her first appearance before the Security Council, new U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft spoke out against arms trafficking in the region.

“The irresponsible flooding of arms into a desperately poor and divided country would only increase the likelihood of a return to widespread bloodshed and violence. This is not what anyone wants,” she said.

The U.N. imposed an arms embargo on the CAR in 2013 after Seleka rebels toppled President Francois Bozize.

This led to fighting among numerous tribes and religious groups. The CAR signed a peace agreement with 14 of those groups in February, who joined in the formation of a new government.

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