Tag Archives: Central African Republic

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)”

 

EU extends training mission in Central African Republic

On 30 July 2018, the Council extended the mandate of the EU military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) by two years, i.e. until 19 September 2020. The Council also modified the mandate of the mission to enable it to give strategic advice not only to the Ministry of Defence, military staff and the armed forces, but also to the President’s cabinet, and to allow it to provide advice on civil-military cooperation, including to the Ministry of the Interior and the gendarmerie. The Council has allocated a budget of around €25.4 million for the common costs of EUTM RCA for the period 20 September 2018 to 19 September 2020.

The Council launched EUTM RCA on 16 July 2016 as a follow-up to an EU military advisory mission (EUMAM RCA). The mission contributes to security sector reform in the country. It works towards modernised, effective, inclusive and democratically accountable Central African Armed Forces (FACA). It provides strategic advice to the Central African Republic’s Ministry of Defence and the General Staff, and gives courses to officers and non-commissioned officers, as well as training to FACA units. The mission is based in Bangui.

Foreign ministers to review EU training missions in Africa

The EU Foreign Affairs Council on defence, 06/03/2018 will review the bloc training missions deployed in Central African RepublicMali and Somalia. It will be the opportunity to take a stock of the functioning of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC). Established in June 2017, the MPCC oversees EU training missions.

On 8 June 2017, the Council adopted the decision establishing of the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC) within the EU military staff (EUMS). The terms of reference of the EUMS, which is part of the European External Action Service, have been amended and approved.

The MPCC will assume command of EU non-executive military missions, currently: EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia, EUTM République Centrale Africaine (RCA) and EUTM Mali. The MPCC will be the static, out-of-area command and control structure at the military strategic level, responsible for the operational planning and conduct of non-executive missions, including the building up, launching, sustaining and recovery of European Union forces. This will allow the mission staff in the field to concentrate on the specific activities of their mission, with better support provided from Brussels.

The MPCC improves the crisis management structures of the EU. It will work under the political control and strategic guidance of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), which is composed of EU member states’ ambassadors and is based in Brussels.