Explosive ordnance devices remain a big challenge for UN mission in Central African Republic

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Explosive ordnance devices has emerged as big threat in Central African Republic which has led to causality of UN patrol missions personnel in the landlocked country where they already face too many problems including inaccessible roads and lack of a bulk cargo aircraft.

“On 15 January 2024, a Mission patrol fatally hit an explosive ordnance device while returning from escorting a humanitarian convoy to Nzakoundou — the recent epicentre of an attack by suspected elements of the 3R armed group,” said Valentine Rugwabiza, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) during her briefing to the 15-nation body on the latest developments in that country.

“The United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic — a landlocked country replete with dirt roads unusable due to rains for two thirds of the year — needs adequate transport and logistics resources to fulfil its mandates to protect civilians and help extend State authority across the country,” she added.

The Central African Republic is a vast country with a tropical climate, dense forests and replete with unpassable terrains. The roads are mostly dirt tracks with only 3 per cent asphalted, constituting a major challenge to the mobility of MINUSCA’s troops and the national defence and security forces and therefore to the mandates to protect civilians and extend State authority over its territory.

Also, the Mission is experiencing such constraints as limited air assets, including the lack of a bulk cargo aircraft.

Addressing the concerns of the Security Council members the representative of the Central African Republic, said that consolidating peace and security in his country means “first and foremost addressing security challenges created by the CPC terrorist groups”, which are using increasingly worrying means, such as anti-personnel mines and drones. On 3 February, the Government suspended all drone flights, but on 21 February, the Minister for National Defense issued a circular that provides an exemption from this measure, he explained.

Ecuador, non permanent member in the UNSC emphasized the need for curbing the flow of weapons into the Central African Republic through the country’s newly launched 10-year plan. It emphasized the need to operationalize border-management policies and Cooperation with neighbouring countries — particularly Chad.

The USA and Russia again traded the barbs and called each other responsible for deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic.

United States, addressing human rights issues, sounded the alarm over reports that the Central African Armed Forces and the Wagner Group backed by the Russian Federation burned an entire village to the ground, displacing 750 households. This undermines efforts to extend State authority, protect civilians and invest in stabilization.

Russia expressed regret that the United States has taken a position that involves “painting everything in somber tones” and refusing to recognize Bangui’s success, adding that “this happens to all States where Washington is unable to achieve its goals


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