UN Military Mission Commander Set To Leave Central African Republic

Gen Stephane Marchennoir’s exit will mark the end of the French leadership of the MINUSCA forces in the Central African Republic.

Gen Stephane Marchennoir, the  French commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), is set to quit his functions next month, August 2022.

His departure would mark the end of the French leadership of the MINUSCA forces in the country.

Following an incident in February this year, when four French soldiers serving with MINUSCA were arrested at Bangui airport,  Gen Thierry Burkhard, the French army chief of staff, had insisted that a French general would no longer hold the MINUSCA command.

This development is another step in the continued disengagement of the French army in the Central African Republic, which was once the exclusive preserve of the French army.

Since the withdrawal of 2,500 French soldiers from “Operation Sangaris” in 2016, the involvement of France in the Sahel and the arrival of Russian mercenaries in Bangui in 2018, France has cut down its presence in the country to less than 200 soldiers.

Since last year, the French military base in M’Poko near the airport has been hosting a simple logistic mission of 130 elements instead of an operational detachment.

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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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