UN urges CAR peace efforts, renews peacekeeping mission

·1-min read
Children look at a United Nations Bangladeshi soldier, part of the MINUSCA peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic
Children look at a United Nations Bangladeshi soldier, part of the MINUSCA peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic

The UN Security Council on Thursday called on the Central African Republic to implement "without delay" a 2019 peace agreement as it renewed its authorization for its peacekeeping mission there.

The resolution, drafted by France and unanimously adopted by the 15 members of the Security Council, "urges the CAR authorities and the signatory armed groups to fully implement the peace agreement in good faith and without delay."

The peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA, was extended until November 15, 2021 with a maximum of 11,650 military personnel.

Under the resolution, France's military is authorized "to use all the means to provide operational support to elements of MINUSCA when under serious threat."

In addition, the Security Council urged the country "to ensure the preparation of inclusive, free, fair, transparent, credible, peaceful and timely presidential, legislative and local elections in 2020 and 2021."

Presidential and legislative elections in the country -- one of the world's poorest and most violent, where militia groups control two-thirds of the territory -- are set for December 27.

In 2013, the Seleka, a rebel coalition drawn largely from the Muslim minority, toppled then-president Francois Bozize, plunging the country into a spiral of violence which has forced nearly a quarter of the country's 4.7 million people to flee their homes.

Violence remains entrenched despite a peace accord signed in February 2019 between the government and 14 armed groups, which often claim to defend the interests of specific communities or religions.

Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera is running for reelection in the polls.

Bozize, who has been back in Central African Republic for a year, is among the list of candidates to file papers to run against him.

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