UN renews peacekeeping force’s mandate in Central African Republic

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The UN Security Council has extended the mandate for another 12 months of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic – known as Minusca.

Fourteen of the 15 council members voted on Wednesday to renew the mission, asking it to continue advancing reconciliation and durable peace through political, security and institutional means.

Minusca was also urged to protect human rights and assist in preparations for local elections in 2024 and 2025.

Russia abstained from the vote, after its representative said the resolution to extend the mandate contained some elements which did not reflect the current situation in the country.

Moscow maintains close ties with the CAR, and the influence of people believed to be from the Wagner mercenary group, is perceptible in the government’s fight against local rebels.

The Russian and Central African forces have been accused of atrocities and human rights violations in their operations.

The UN has maintained its peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic since 2014, a year after a civil war plunged the country into political instability.

The mission is made up of 4,400 troops and 3,020 police officers whose priority is to protect civilians and preserve the country’s territorial integrity.

Rebel groups continue to stage attacks in several parts of the mineral-rich country, despite the 2019 agreement on peace and reconciliation.

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