Tag Archives: Central African Republic

CAR: France suspends Military cooperation

Paris suspended its military cooperation and budgetary aid to the Central African government, terming the Central African Republic (CAR) “complicit” in an anti-French campaign. (Image: illustration)

The French military ministry said that it considered the Central African state as “complicit” in a Russian-led anti-French campaign.

“On several occasions, the Central African authorities have made commitments that they have not kept, both politically towards the opposition and in terms of their behaviour
towards France, which is the target of a massive disinformation campaign in CAR,” Paris said.

“The Russians are not to blame, but the Central Africans are at best accomplices in this campaign,” it added.

In April, five French military aid workers who were posted to the Central African Defence Ministry were recalled to Paris. The military training provided to the Central African Armed Forces (Faca) by troops stationed in Gabon has also been suspended, the ministry stated, confirming information from the French news website Mediapart.

France, a former colonial power, continues to contribute around 100 soldiers to the European mission EUTM-RCA, which mobilizes nearly 200 soldiers to train the FACA.

Ten of the soldiers do participate in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca), which has 12,000 blue helmets in the region.

When prompted by AFP on the budgetary restrictions imposed, the French Foreign Ministry however did not reveal any figure.

France, which intervened from 2013 to 2016 through Operation Sangaris to stop the violence, handed over some 1,400 assault rifles to the Faca in December 2018 after obtaining an exemption to the UN embargo.

A few months earlier, Russia had made a remarkable entry into this former French “pré carré” by delivering arms to the Faca at the beginning of 2018 and by installing a contingent of military instructors.

Last December, reportedly Russia urgently dispatched hundreds of paramilitaries to the aid of President Faustin Archange Touadéra’s army, threatened by a rebellion.

Numerous witnesses and NGOs claim that these paramilitaries are fighters from the Russian private security group Wagner, which Moscow continues to deny.

BANGUI: AU denies press reports allegations

Brussels 09.06.2021 The representative of the African Union denied information that a joint delegation of the AU, the European Union and the Economic Community of Central African Countries (ECCAS) came to the Central African Republic to persuade the head of state to start negotiations with the militants.

The Central African Republic is preparing for a nationwide dialogue, in which political and public leaders of the country will take part. In preparation for the event, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra held a series of consultations with representatives of various sectors of society.

At the same time, the head of the CAR absolutely unequivocally stated that negotiations with those who raised their hand against the civilian population are impossible. H.E. President Touadera’s position met with the approval of regular citizens, but the West has repeatedly sounded calls to establish communication with the leaders of criminal gangs.

Dialogue with such a person is simply impossible, as stated by the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Bancol Adoye, underlining that the AU calls on the media and politicians to refrain from propaganda of incitement to hatred and disinformation.

“We did not even mention former President Bozize and did not agree on him with Touadera. We called on all parties concerned to strongly condemn those who took up arms to seize state power. Our task is to promote peace in the CAR,” said the representative of the African Union.

Thus, the joint delegation of the EU, AU and ECCAS regards Jeune Afrique’s article as disinformation published in the interests of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC). The CPC was formed by six rebel groups on December 15, 2020, with the aim to disrupt the country’s elections and oust President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

EU launches CAR advisory mission

The Council today adopted a decision launching the European Union CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) civilian advisory mission in the Central African Republic (EUAM RCA).

The mission was initially established on 9 December 2019, with Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/2110. Following the achievement of Initial Operational Capability, the mission will now become operational on 9 August for an initial period of two years.

Under the authority of the EU head of mission, Mr Paulo Soares, the objective of the mission will be to support the reform of the internal security forces to enable the local 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 coordinates closely with the UN MINUSCA mission and the international community, as well as the other CSDP mission present in the country: EUTM RCA.

The Council today also decided that the mandate of EUTM RCA will be extended for a further two years until 19 September 2022. The decision follows the Strategic Review of the Mission.

EUTM RCA is a military training mission launched by the EU in 2016 to provide strategic advice to the Central African Republic’s political and military authorities, as well as education and training to its armed forces.

Image above: social media.

COVID19: EU aid to Central African Republic

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, is travelling today to Bangui on the first flight and will meet H.E. Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic, as well as humanitarian organisations.

The European Commission has set up an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to transport humanitarian workers and emergency supplies for the coronavirus response to some of most critical areas around the world.

Leaving any area of the world unprotected today leaves us all unprotected tomorrow. As part of our global response, the EU will open a dedicated Humanitarian Air Bridge to get aid into areas which lack supplies due to the difficulties of global transit. This can be a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable communities worldwide” Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said.

The first EU flight, operated in cooperation with France, is departing from Lyon airport and will transport around 60 humanitarian workers from various NGOs and 13 tonnes of humanitarian cargo. Two subsequent humanitarian cargo flights will follow in the coming days to transport a further 27 tonnes of humanitarian supplies in total. On their return leg, the Air Bridge flights will also bring back EU citizens and other passengers from the Central African Republic in a repatriation effort.

More EU humanitarian flights are being scheduled for the coming weeks, prioritising African countries where the pandemic has the potential to worsen many existing humanitarian crises.

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.

Mogherini proposes increase of cooperation with CAR

“… A point on the Central African Republic. I was there also a few days ago. I proposed to the Ministers to increase our cooperation with the country at a moment that is critical for the implementation of the peace agreement’ said the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini, following the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

“We will come back with concrete proposals, especially on our work with our mission (EUTM RCA) there that is training the military and also with the possibility of developing a police component for that”.

Mogherini visits Central African Republic

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met in Bangui with the President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra. The visit is a part of her tour of the Sahel region and the Central African Republic.

At a critical juncture for the peace and reconciliation process in the Central African Republic (CAR), this meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the latest developments since the signing in Bangui the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement on  February 6 2019 been the Central African authorities and the 14 armed groups.
The EU diplomat and President Touadéra emphasized the historic chance that this Agreement offered for an exit from the humanitarian, security and political crisis that continues to affect the country’s population. They underlined that the progress has been made already in the implementation of the Agreement and expressed their concern over the persistent challenges and violations by some of armed groups.

At a meeting with the Government chaired by President Touadéra,  Mogherini emphasized the need for the signatory parties to demonstrate responsibility, openness and respect for their commitments; it particularly the need for acceleration of the implementation process of the Agreement, demobilization, disarmament, reintegration and transitional justice. The EU diplomat also encouraged the Agreement‘s guarantors to use their authority for a stronger application of the Agreement. In this context, the region and the international partners of CAR as well as civil society, women and youth should fully play their role, she said.

Mogherini also recalled the high expectations of the population with regard to justice and the fight against impunity, as well as with regard to security and the return of State authority and basic services on the entire territory.

The EU top diplomat and President Touadéra reviewed cooperation between the European Union and the CAR, using an integrated approach. They noted that the EU remains the major and reliable partner for the Central African Republic, mobilizing all its instruments at the political, security, humanitarian and development cooperation levels. The priorities of the EU are aligned with those of the government: to meet the expectations of the population, particularly in terms of security, justice-reconciliation, development and governance, the rule of law, humanitarian needs. Thus, the EU’s engagement in the country continues to respond to several factors: the interest in lasting stabilization in the country, in a region where the resources of the EU and its member states are already strongly committed; and the defense of shared values ​​in the face of repeated violations of human rights by armed groups.
Mogerini and Touadéra made a trip to Bouar, in the west of the country, to inaugurate an EU-funded military camp for the benefit of Central African armed forces and to visit the new branch of the European Military Training MissionEUTM RCA, intended to accompany the rise of the Central African Armed Forces as well as Special Mixed Security Units provided for in the Peace Agreement.

A meeting with women Central African leaders finally allowed to recall the essential role of these in the process of peace, reconciliation and recovery of the CAR.

This visit to CAR was another opportunity to reaffirm the strength of the outstanding partnership between the EU and the CAR and, for the High Representative, to assure President Touadéra of the full support of the EU for the sustainable stabilization and development of the CAR. It took the opportunity to highlight the planned strengthening of EU action in the CAR, inter alia through an increase and extension of its Bêkou Trust Fund, in particular for health, agriculture and rural development, and considering a possible civilian mission to support the Central African internal security forces.

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”.

CAR arrests suspected murderers of Chinese workers

A number of  suspects have now been arrested in the Central African Republic after three Chinese nationals were murdered last week by an angry mob.

The murders reportedly occurred after a boat capsized on a river near the town of  Sosso-Nakombo. The boat was carrying four Chinese employees of a mining company and a local youth leader. Afterward, the young man vanished.

When the Chinese survivors went to report the incident to a local gendarmerie brigade, they were surrounded and attacked by an angry mob of what the Central African Republic government has called “bandits,” who blamed the Chinese for the missing of young man.

At the Chinese embassy’s request, security reinforcements were deployed to the area and 58 Chinese nationals evacuated to the safety of a neighboring town. Abdoul Karim Meckassousa, speaker of they Central African Republic’s National Assembly, has strongly condemned the attack and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

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