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CAR in talks with UN to lift arms embargo to empower military

CAR in talks with UN to lift arms embargo to empower military

Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is in talks with the United Nations to lift the arms embargo imposed on the country since 2013 during the civil war.

The country’s defence minister Joseph Central Yakete said on Tuesday that a dialogue has been initiated in order to rebuild a regular army in the Central African Republic where the security situation remains very fragile.

“A dialogue has been initiated with the UN to lift gradually the embargo for the FACA (CAR army) to saddle and defend the territory,” Mr. Yakete said.

The embargo was extended in January for another year by the UN Security Council since its imposition in 2013.

“The weapons were circulating everywhere. The country might have moved towards genocide. This is what prompted the UN to place the embargo on the country,” the defense minister said at a press conference in Bangui.

The minister also called for a garrison for the army throughout the country as “the defense forces only had bases at Bangui and Bouar (in the east) but now the FACA have to settle in risk areas.”

The Central African Republic president Faustin-Archange Touadera warned that the country is still in danger with large areas controlled by armed groups. He said this on Saturday as he assessed his first 100 days in office.

He added that his government must rebuild the country in the presence of the UN force (MINUSCA) which has about 12,000 men and women in the country.

CAR fell into chaos in 2013 after the overthrow of President Francois Bozize which resulted into heightened violence between the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka Christian militia. The unrest caused the displacement of over 700,000 people.

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