Armed ViolenceNews

Gabon To Deploy 450 More Soldiers To UN Mission IN CAR

Gabon is to send a contingent of 450 more soldiers to join the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

The contingent would be the seventh Gabonese battalion to the Central African Republic.

The contingent which is being prepared for the Central African mission was presented to the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, on Saturday during celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Gabonese armed forces.

The impending dispatch of the contingent to join the MINUSCA forces comes one month on the heels of an audience President Ali Bongo granted the Central African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Slyvie Baipo Temon, who was a special envoy of President Faustin Archange Touadera.

Discussions during the audience centred on the involvement of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and that of Gabon in the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the Central African Republic.

The Gabon battalion consists of 450 soldiers, 40 of whom are women, drawn from various components of the country’s defense forces notably, the national gendarmerie, the infantry, the air force, the national marine, the fire brigade, light aviation unit of the army, the general directorate of the military health service, the military engineering corps, the republican guards, military security and counter- intelligence.

According to the Gabonese Minister of Defense, Michael Moussa Adamo, the contingent preparing to go to the Central African Republic is “articulated within the general staff, with a motorized organic company having three combat sections, two motorized organic companies with three combat sections and one support company”.

“The personnel of this battalion have gone through different pre-deployment training sessions particularly on operational and technical planning in conformity with United Nations exigencies.”

“They were also trained by elements of the French army based in Gabon through the Instruction Pool of the Gabonese armed forces,” Adamo said.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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