UN: UN engaged 250 peacekeepers for Pope's security in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - The UN on Tuesday said it brought in 250 additional peacekeepers from
Cote d’Ivoire over and above those already stationed in Central African Republic (CAR) to
help the authorities provide security for Pope Francis’s two-day visit to Bangui, the war-ravaged country’s capital.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York said that apart from bringing in the special unit, which will remain for another eight weeks, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (INUSCA) also helped build the pope-mobile that Francis used during his visit, which ended on Monday.

MINUSCA said it was pleased to see that the Pope delivered messages of peace and
reconciliation to members of the Christian and Muslim communities, including victims of
violence in a country that has been torn apart by more than two years of fighting between
the mainly Muslim Seleka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement.

The statement said the Pope ended his trip with a visit to the mosque in a
Muslim enclave known as PK5, where he called for peace between Christians and Muslims,
after which crowds followed him to the Bangui Stadium where he officiated a Mass.

Last week the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on the warring
groups to use the visit to rebuild national reconciliation, after renewed violence since
September triggered an 18 per cent increase in internally displaced persons (IDPs) to
447,500.

UNHCR said hundreds of thousands more are estimated to have fled abroad in the
fighting, which has killed thousands since it first erupted in early 2013.

MINUSCA, set up in April 2014 to help restore stability peace after a breakdown of
governmental authority, currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the
country.

Meanwhile, MINUSCA announced that its Force Commander, Major General Martin
Chuma Tumenta of Cameroon, has passed away. He had been on medical leave for the
past month in Cameroon.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  1Dec2015

01 december 2015 16:40:47




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