Wednesday, December 23, 2020

More Foreign Troops for CAR

 The Central African Republic is suffering re-newed violence days before voting set for 27 December. The violence comes following a major spike in political tensions exacerbated by the decision of the country’s Constitutional Court to block former President Francois Bozizé from running in elections. As the election draws closer, several armed groups entered the fray in what now looks like an attempt to halt the elections and depose Touadéra.

CAR has witnessed continuous fighting of varying intensity for decades and has been in a protracted crisis since 2013. In that year, a mostly Muslim rebel coalition known as the Seleka from the country’s north east rose against Bozizé’s government and briefly held power until regional countries pushed it to stand down. Non-Muslim “anti-balaka” forces sprang up to defend non-Muslims against the Seleka’s predation. Since this crisis, both former Seleka and anti-balaka factions have splintered, while new ones have formed. These armed groups have been responsible for widespread insecurity across the country as they battle each other and government forces for influence.

Russia will deploy 300 military "instructors" to the Central African Republic (CAR) to deal with what its foreign ministry calls a "sharp degradation of security".

 Russian mercenaries have already been working in CAR providing security for the government and helping safeguard key economic assets.

Rwanda, which has troops serving in the UN mission in CAR, has also announced it is bolstering their numbers in support of the government. At least 750 Rwandan soldiers and police officers have been operating under the UN peacekeeping force Minusca. The newly deployed forces will have "different rules of engagement which will enable them to protect our forces from being attacked, and protect civilians", Rwandan President Paul Kagame said. 

The CAR is one of Africa's poorest and most unstable countries, even though it is rich in resources like diamonds and uranium. The UN estimates that half of the population are dependent on humanitarian assistance and up to a fifth have been displaced.

Russia sends 300 military instructors to Central African Republic - BBC News

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