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UN peacekeeping chief urges support for African-led mission in CAR

English.news.cn   2014-03-07 05:22:25

UNITED NATIONS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The UN peacekeeping chief on Thursday urged the international community to provide financial and material support for peacekeepers operating in the Central African Republic (CAR) which continues to be plagued by inter- communal violence.

Herve Ladsous, UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, made the appeal when he was briefing the Security Council here on the situation in the country.

Ladsous said although the situation in the capital of Bangui has stabilized to some extent, civilians are still being killed everyday by other civilians and by armed groups because of their religious affiliations.

Conflict in the CAR broke out when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels launched attacks in December 2012 and has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti- Balaka (anti-machete) have taken up arms.

Meanwhile, more than 650,000 people inside the country are still displaced, and more than 290,000 have fled to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, according to the UN.

Ladsous said the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and French forces have saved many lives in the country.

However, he noted, the current deployment of international security forces is not sufficient and lacks the civilian component to adequately protect civilians under imminent attack. "Now MISCA still lacks critical capabilities to achieve its full potential."

"Let me therefore join the secretary-general in calling on bilateral partners and member states to provide urgently to MISCA rapid and generous financial and material support, including for the payment of its personnel and for the reimbursement of major military equipment," he said.

Meanwhile, the UN peacekeeping chief stressed that addressing the crisis in the CAR requires a unified and integrated approach, through the deployment of a multidimensional peacekeeping operation, with the protection of civilians as its utmost priority.

He said that the UN is "uniquely positioned" to deploy and sustain such a mission with the full range of capacities required to address the deep-rooted nature of the complex crisis unfolding in the country.

In a report sent to the Council earlier this week, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon outlined his proposal for the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping operation in CAR that would be aimed at "re-hatting" as many MISCA troops as possible.

Ladsous noted that the mission's objectives, in the early phase of its deployment, will focus on providing a secure environment, supporting the transitional government to exercise basic state functions, supporting peace and reconciliation efforts, extension of state authority, protecting basic human rights, and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

"There will be no quick fix in the CAR," said Ladsous, adding that responding to this crisis will require time and resources.

"The scale of needs in the CAR is daunting, and progress in any one area will not be sustainable without significant and simultaneous engagement in others. The deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation should therefore be part of a broader, long-term engagement of the international community," he said.

Editor: yan
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