UNITED NATIONS, July 16 (Xinhua) -- UN chief Ban Ki-moon Wednesday named Babacar Gaye, a former commander of Senegal and veteran UN peacekeeping official, as his Special Representative and Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Gaye had been as acting special representative of the secretary-general in the volatile country since April 2014 when MINUSCA was established. Before that he headed the UN peacebuilding office in the CAR.
The UN mission in CAR will initially comprise up to 10,000 military personnel and 1,800 police personnel after it takes over the responsibilities of the African-led International Support Mission in September.
Timely deployment of the troops is not expected to be easy, said Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous on Wednesday, after briefing the UN Security Council.
"We are working despite all the logistical challenges towards deploying additional troops as quickly as possible. The problem of course has to do with the fact that it is a landlocked country, that the roads are very, very limited. So, it's not easy and of course we need in particular airlift capacity to accelerate even more the movement," Ladsous told media.
Fighting fuelled by inter-communal retaliatory attacks between anti-balaka and Seleka rebels has put the CAR in humanitarian crisis. An estimated 2.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Gaye held leading positions in Senegal, including Chief of Defence Staff and commander of a military region. He is also experienced in UN peacekeeping. From 2005 to 2010, he served as leader of UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also participated in several missions, including in Lebanon and Iraq.