Armed ViolenceNews

UN Security Council Extends Central African Republic’s Arms Embargo By 12 Months

The arms embargo extension enjoyed majority support, as the Central African Republic continues to face rebel threats.

The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend the embargo on the delivery and sale of arms to the Central African Republic by 12 months.

The vote Thursday night follows the concerns expressed by certain members of the Council over the “deteriorating situation in the country.”

The resolution on the embargo was adopted by 14 members of the 15-member Council with China abstaining.

The representative of France, Nicolas de Riviere, after the vote underlined the “dramatic situation in the Central African Republic with a very preoccupying amount of violence, violations of human rights and international humanitarian rights.”

Russia, which has since 2018 been carrying out a diplomatic offensive in the former French colony had obtained the relaxation of the embargo in Oct. last year after the first relaxation in 2019 which permitted the supply of arms inferior to 14.5mm caliber to the country.

Since 2018, Russian military ‘instructors’ have been training the Central African Republic army and have been responsible for the personal security of the country’s leader, President Faustin Archange Touadera.

The Central African Republic, FACA, has since Dec. last year succeeded in recapturing the big towns and a large part of the two-thirds of the country that was controlled by armed groups for several years.

The FACA forces were aided in these exploits essentially by Rwandan soldiers and the presence of hundreds of Russian paramilitary combatants.

Last month, United Nations experts accused “Russian instructors” of having committed “violations of international humanitarian law” but the Russian government continues to insist that its paramilitary forces in the Central African Republic are not armed and do not take part in combat.

The situation on the ground as attested by the local populations and international observers were far from the Russian assertions.

“We remain very preoccupied by the allegations that such atrocities are committed not only by armed groups but by members of national armed forces and effectively by private military contractors,” Alice Jacobs, the British representative to the UN Security Council declared.

An arms embargo was imposed on the Central African Republic in 2013 after a coalition of armed groups overthrew the regime of President Francois Bozize and plunged the country into civil war.

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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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