Tag Archives: Central African Republic

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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Russia to open representation in CAR

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the draft agreement with the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) to open a representation of the Defense Ministry. The relevant document was published on the official web portal. (Image above: illustration).

To approve the draft agreement proposed by the Russian Defense Ministry and coordinated with the Russian Foreign Ministry and other relevant federal executive authorities… on establishing a representative office of the Russian Defense Ministry at the Ministry of National Defense and Restructuring of the Army of the Central African Republic,” the document said.

The prime minister ordered the Defense Ministry to hold talks with CAR representatives and sign a document upon reaching an agreement.

The draft agreement was put forward with the aim of providing assistance to CAR in the issues of military and military-technical cooperation, as well as ensuring the activities of Russian military specialists in the African country on assisting in restructuring the country’s Armed Forces, providing training on using and repairing the military equipment delivered by Russia. The maintenance of the representative office of the Russian Defense Ministry will be financed by the Russian side, the document added.

The agreement comes into force on the date of its signing and does not have an expiration date.

 

Russian journalists killed in CAR

Three Russian journalists were killed in Central African Republic, according to Russian main stream media, in what local authorities said was an ambush by unidentified assailants.

Russian online news organization Investigation Control Centre (TsUR) said in a Facebook post the three journalists — identified as Orhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko — were in the country on assignment.

Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that three people with identification documents belonging to Dzhemal, Rastorguyev and Radchenko had been found dead and their bodies had been brought back to the capital Bangui.

“According to information received from the Central African Republic on July 30, three people were killed near the city of Sibut (300 km north of the capital of the CAR, Bangui), carrying only journalistic documents issued under the names Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguev and Orhan Dzhemal,” the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

As the ministry stated, the embassy is in contact with the local authorities to prepare the repatriation of bodies to Russia. According to the ministry, the Russian embassy in the Central African Republic was not informed about the presence of the Russian journalists in the country.

The Russian Investigative Committee announced that it had opened a criminal probe into the murder of the Russian journalists in the CAR.

Earlier in the day, AFP news agency reported citing sources close to the investigation, that the bodies of Russian citizens with press cards have been found on a road 23 kilometers (14 miles) from the central town of Sibut.

Press CAR Russia

AMENDMENT: “Most Western governments have issued explicit warnings
against travel to the Central African Republic (CAR)
under any circumstances. Violent crime, such as armed robbery,
aggravated battery, and homicide, are  extremely common.
Large parts of the country are controlled by armed groups
who regularly kidnap, injure, and/or kill civilians.
In the event of unrest, airport, land border, and road closures
may occur with little or no notice. Consular services are often
either extremely limited or non-existent. WARNING! Stay away from CAR
and if you have no choice be sure to exercise war zone safety. (28 May 2018)”

 

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