World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Security Council Mulls UN Force in Central African Republic

Civilian Protection Stressed As Security Council Mulls UN Force in Central African Republic

New York, Mar 6 2014 - Top United Nations officials today underscored the need for urgent action to confront the myriad challenges facing the Central African Republic (CAR), as the Security Council considered Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s proposals for deploying a peacekeeping mission that will be tasked, first and foremost, with protecting civilians in the strife-torn nation.

“The situation in CAR remains extremely grave and urgent action by all – including by this Council – is required to prevent further bloodshed,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos told the 15-member body.

Ms. Amos, who recently visited the country, reported that the crisis that has gripped CAR for more than a year has left the State unable to deliver basic services or to stop the spiral of violence. In addition, there is no national army, and the police and the gendarmerie are ill-equipped to address current challenges.

The conflict in CAR erupted when Séléka rebels launched attacks in December 2012 and has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-Balaka (anti-machete) have taken up arms.

Ms. Amos said CAR is experiencing “unacceptable sectarian brutality, persistent insecurity and fear” with tragic humanitarian consequences. More than 650,000 people are still internally displaced, with more than 232,000 in the capital, Bangui, alone. This includes 70,000 people who are still living at a site for internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the airport in “appalling” conditions which are set to worsen dramatically with the onset of the rainy season.

“Unless the current trajectory is urgently reversed, the demographic and social changes taking place in CAR will have severe and lasting consequences for the country, the region and the continent,” she stated.

In addition to those displaced within the country, over 290,000 people have fled to neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of Congo, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, who was also recently in CAR.

“Rarely has a field visit in my eight-year tenure as High Commissioner caused me such anguish as my recent trip to the Central African Republic,” he told the Council. “I was deeply shocked by the barbarity, brutality and inhumanity that have characterized the violence happening in the country.”

Mr. Guterres stressed that the most important protection and humanitarian objective inside CAR is to re-establish security and law and order. “The immediate reinforcement of international forces, in particular with police contingents to ensure security in the neighbourhoods, is the biggest imperative.”

In his briefing, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous noted that the current deployment of international security forces – the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) and the French mission, known as Sangaris – is not sufficient and lacks the civilian component to adequately protect civilians under imminent attack.

“Addressing the crisis in the Central African Republic requires a unified and integrated approach, through the deployment of a multidimensional peacekeeping operation, with the protection of civilians as its utmost priority.”

He added that the UN is “uniquely positioned” to deploy and sustain such a mission with the full range of capacities required to address the deep-rooted nature of the complex crisis unfolding in the country.

In a report sent to the Council earlier this week, Secretary-General outlines his proposal for the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping operation in CAR that would aim at re-hatting as many MISCA troops as possible.

Mr. Ladsous noted that the mission’s objectives, in the early phase of its deployment, will focus on providing a secure environment, a sine qua non for progress in other areas, supporting the Transitional Government to exercise basic state functions, supporting peace and reconciliation efforts, extension of State authority, protecting basic human rights, and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

“There will be no quick fix in the Central African Republic,” stated the peacekeeping chief, adding that responding to this crisis will require time and resources.

“The scale of needs in the Central African Republic is daunting, and progress in any one area will not be sustainable without significant and simultaneous engagement in others. The deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation should therefore be part of a broader, long-term engagement of the international community.”

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news