UN peacekeepers prepare for CAR deployment

BANGUI (AA) – Two United Nations convoys on Monday headed to Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, aboard a ship coming from the Cameroonian Port of Douala ahead of the deployment of U.N peacekeepers in the restive country, a diplomatic source said.

Around 7,800 U.N. peacekeepers are scheduled to be deployed across the country by September 15, according to the source.

The numbers of the U.N. troops in the country will grow to 11,800 by April.

The U.N. forces, which are affiliated to the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic, will be deployed across the country under three commands in the western town of Bouar, in the central town of Kaga-Bandoro and Bria in eastern of the country.

Around 6,000 African peacekeepers have been working in the Central African Republic since December 2013 alongside with 2,000 French peacekeepers and 150 European troops.

Since last year, the Central African Republic has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between Christian anti-balaka militiamen and Muslim seleka fighters.

Anti-Muslim violence escalated after the country’s president, Michel Djotodia, stepped down in January. He was replaced by Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian who had formerly served as mayor of capital Bangui.

Christians, who account for the majority of the country’s population, accuse Muslims of supporting former seleka rebels blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions.

Since last December, some 173,000 people have been internally displaced by sectarian violence while 37,000 others have fled to neighboring countries, according to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

Over 30,000 have reportedly sought refuge in the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo, while Chad and Cameroon now host roughly 5,600 and 1,000 respectively, according to UNHCR figures.

© 2014, Thierry Bresillon. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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  1. Pingback: U.S. Troops Deploy to C.A.R. For Resumption of Operations at U.S. Embassy Bangui | Diplopundit

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