Category Archives: Central Africa

Europe supports CAR security reform

The European Council adopted a crisis management concept for a new civilian CSDP Advisory Mission in the Central African Republic (EUAM RCA).  (Image: illustration).

https://twitter.com/kenroth/status/1197119122078945280?s=21

The mission will support the reform of the internal security forces to enable the CAR authorities to mitigate the current security challenges in the country. EU experts will support the Ministry of the Interior and the internal security forces, the police and the gendarmerie, with the aim of helping in their deployment throughout the country.

The mission will provide advice to the CAR authorities at the strategic level to support the sustainable transformation of CAR internal security forces into a coherent and accountable security provider operating under national ownership. The mission will coordinate closely with the military EU Training Mission (EUTM RCA), the UN MINUSCA mission and the international community.

The adoption of a crisis management concept is the first step in launching a new CSDP mission, after which preparations for deployment will begin. The Central African Republic will be the third country to receive  support in parallel from both military and civilian CSDP missions after Mali and Somalia.

DRC: Second Ebola vaccine in view

Health authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) informed that they plan to introduce a second Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, to counter the second-worst outbreak of the deadly virus.

https://twitter.com/reutersafrica/status/1175372732596465664?s=21

The team overseeing Congo’s Ebola response did not reveal when exactly the J&J vaccine would be employed. It will complement another vaccine manufactured by Merck, which has been administered to more than 225,000 people since August 2018. Unlikely fhe J&J vaccine requires two injections eight weeks apart, unlike the Merck product, which requires a single shot.

https://twitter.com/reutersafrica/status/1175372732596465664?s=21

According to the Congolese authorities, they will offer J&J vaccine to Congolese traders who cross into Rwanda and then to residents of the province neighbouring the epicentre of the outbreak to “create a corridor of immunised people”.

https://twitter.com/csis/status/1175121195013771264?s=21

Central Africa signs peace deal

Central African Republic concluded a peace deal with 14 armed groups on following two weeks of talks in Khartoum, Sudan.

The peace deal was announced by the African Union but the terms were not immediately released.

Central African Republic has been tormented by violence since 2013 when Selaka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize, stirring conflict between Muslim and Christian militias. United Nations peacekeepers were deployed in 2014, however their numbers were not sufficient to end the ongoing violence.

 

CAR arms embargo prolonged

The UN Security Council has made a step towards the possibly to ease the arms embargo on the Central African Republic (CAR). A French-drafted resolution promoted the view of a need to enable the supply of weapons to government forces fighting militia groups who control large parts of the country.

The Council adopted the draft of the resolution calling for a review of the arms embargo by September if a number of benchmarks are met by the Central African government.The embargo was imposed in 2013 when the country entered the civil war following the ousting of President Francois Bozize by the Seleka rebel group. Authorities in Bangui have frequently called for the lifting of the restrictions, arguing that the supply of arms is crucial for its  security forces.

A UN panel of experts has noted that anti-government groups continue to receive military equipment, much of it from Sudan, while the country’s security forces remain poorly-equipped, The Council said it would extend the embargo until January next year, however it laid out a series of benchmarks that could lead to a partial lifting. Benchmarks will be agreed upon by April and include the creation of a strategy for reintegrating former members of armed groups and other measures such as the management and storage of weapons and ammunition. The resolution was described as displaying a “real openness” to a partial lifting of the arms embargo, according to the French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre.

Calls by the CAR government to lift the embargo were “heard loud and clear”, Delattre said, calling the resolution a “roadmap that in a few months’ time could lead to a slight lifting of the arms embargo”.

Wikileaks video attributed to Tagbara attack

A video of the abuses presumably committed by Blue helmets the journalists from Agence France-Presse reporting from the Central African Republic (CAR) have noticed circulating since May 2018

Several elements allow the experts to affirm that this scene did not take place in January 2019 in the village of Ippy, but on April 3, 2018 in the village of Tagbara, on the road between Bambari and Ippy.

At that time, “anti-Balaka” militias, self-proclaimed self-defense armed groups, targeted a temporary peacekeeper base in Tagbara.

MINUSCA spokesman Vladimir Monteiro confirms to AFP that this video is indeed related to Tagbara: “We saw and analyzed the content of the video as part of an internal investigation process following the attack of 3 April 2018 against a temporary operation base of MINUSCA in Tagbara, in Ouaka Prefecture. During this attack by 200-300 armed anti-Balaka members, a Mauritanian peacekeeper was killed and 11 wounded. The MINUSCA peacekeepers fought back and 22 anti-Balaka were killed, “he told AFP.

According to the AFP dispatch reporting on the incident, the MINUSCA said at the time that it had discovered, “apart from this attack” and in addition to the 22 anti-Balaka killed, the dead bodies of 21 civilians near a church in Tagbara. . That is 43 deaths in total.

Some of them appear in this video. They also appear in a UN document that AFP procured and in which several photos show Tagbara and his victims shortly after the attack.

The metadata in this PDF document indicates that it was created on April 3 at 3:08 PM – the same day as the Tagbara attack occurred at 5:00 AM It contains many photos of the village after the attack. On one of them, one can see the same bodies as in the video, frozen in the same postures and in the same clothes.

On the sixth shot, visible below, many visual elements can also confirm that the Tagbara attack is the one whose consequences are visible in the video circulating on social networks.

At the sixty-first second, we notice indeed that the roof of the church presents on the video sags in its center – and that its curvature is exactly identical to that of the church of Tagbara below in photo. Two seconds later, one clearly sees the same trees, and the same small straw-roofed construction opposite the church.

President Tshisekedi calls for “Congo for all”

Felix Tshisekedi called for national reconciliation while succeeding Joseph Kabila as Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, in a first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence.

We want to build a strong Congo, turned toward its development in peace and security,” he said to thousands of supporters gathering on the lawn of the presidential palace. “A Congo for all, in which everyone has a place.”

The inaugural ceremony was briefly interrupted when Tshisekedi had a spell of dizziness during his inaugural address and had to sit down. However he returned to the podium moments after a brief pause, saying he was exhausted by the election and the emotion of the moment. Some media reported there was a problem of bulletproof vest, being fixed too tight.

Felix Tshisekedi confirmed Congo President elect

Felix Tshisekedi is declared by the Constitutional Court as an ultimate winner of the December presidential elections in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) dismissing a claim from supported by the Catholic Church candidate Martin Fayulu who rejected the result of the vote, and announced himself a president elect.

The supporters Tshisekedi were celebrating the court decision in the streets of Kinshasa. Fayulu blames the incumbent President Joseph Kabila an engineered scam deal between him and Tshisekedi.

Both incumbent President Kabila  and Tshisekedi’s representatives dismissed any secret dealings . The president of the constitutional court, Benoit Luamba, rejected the claims of a self-proclaimed winner as “inadmissible.”

Felix Tshisekedi  is a son of legendary left opposition leader late  Etienne Tshisekedi, and founder of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) one of the major political forces in Congo.

 

 

 

 

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