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UN extends mandate of CAR peacekeeping force to November 2017

UN extends mandate of CAR peacekeeping force to November 2017

Central African Republic

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend the mandate of peacekeepers in Central African Republic (CAR) till middle of November next year.

The current move is in line with the election of the new president Faustin-Archange Touadera and the approaching end of the French military operation codenamed Sangaris.

The resolution to extend the mission was proposed by France and adopted unanimously hence the mandate of MINUSCA (UN Mission in the Central African Republic) is extended until 15 November 2017 with the same staff level of almost 13,000 soldiers and police.

(Currently in CAR) the security situation has improved but remains fragile because of the presence of armed groups.

The Security Council however noted that it reserved the possibility of revising these numbers at any time, stressing further that “the security situation has improved but remains fragile because of the presence of armed groups.”

With the reduction of the French Sangaris forces to 350 men – against 2,500 at the height of the crisis – MINUSCA is in the front line to ensure safety until the CAR army is able to effectively protect the state.

But until operation Sangaris folds up in October, the 350 French soldiers will continue to be a tactical reserve, authorized to lend a hand to the UN forces if needed.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the successful transition of power should now lead to stabilization, whiles admitting that the task was huge, he expressed confidence in the ability and professionalism of MINUSCA to live up to the task.

The resolution describes in 16 pages priorities of peacekeepers, the number one priority remains the protection of civilians. The MINUSCA is to adopt “flexible and mobile posture and actively patrol,” in order to ensure better security of the citizenry.

The Council called on countries contributing peacekeepers to better train and equip them and give them intelligence capabilities to anticipate attacks.