UN: UN mission in CAR reinforces presence in restive Bambari

New York, US (PANA) - Following ongoing rebel activity in and around Bambari in strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR), the UN mission in the country has reinforced its presence in the city with the arrival of additional troops, including a quick reaction unit and Special Forces.

A UN statement, obtained by PANA in New York on Saturday, said the reinforcement makes it possible to better protect Bambari and its inhabitants.

It noted that the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA)  is the only legitimate authority mandated by the CAR government to control the city.

It quoted the UN envoy in CAR, Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga as saying:  "Bambari should not belong to armed groups."

He said that the FPRC (Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique)’s coalition and UPC (Mouvement pour l’Unite et la Paix en Centrafrique) represent a threat for civilian populations and that UN peacekeepers will respond in case of violence.

He, however, said discussions were ongoing and a UN civilian-military delegation would soon meet with the leader of one of the armed groups.

"Bambari must be free of armed groups in the coming days," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy welcomed the nomination of Toussaint Muntazini Mukimapa as Special Prosecutor to the CAR’s Special Criminal Court.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, who are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.

According to the UN, more more than half the population is in dire need of assistance.

Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.

In December 2016, MINUSCA supported a new dialogue between 11 of the 14 armed groups, as part of an ongoing effort to disarm the factions.
-0- PANA AA/ar 18Feb2017

18 february 2017 07:05:30




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