UNITED NATIONS, September 10 (RIA Novosti) - With the Central African Republic (CAR) peacekeeping mission set to become the responsibility of the United Nations on September 15, there will be 1,500 new troops ready on that day, the UN said Wednesday .
The deployment of additional 1,500 military personnel would add to the 4,800 troops already serving in the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) force in the country
“Sectarian violence and the cycle of violent attacks and reprisals continue in many places in the country,” the Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic Babacar Gaye told the Security Council on August 19. He added that sectarian violence in the country had let to numerous casualties, including two African Union peacekeepers.
“We’ve sent over 200 containers of supplies, which go by ship from Brindisi [UN's logistical base for peacekeeping in Italy] to Douala in Cameroon and then have to drive overland into Bangui [the capital of the Central African Republic], UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.
The official added the UN has been working very closely with the African-led mission in terms of supplying them with transport, logistical and communications equipment.
“Mobilizing troops for a peacekeeping mission takes time, because it’s not like they're waiting in New York. We have to go knock on doors for troops, equipment, helicopters and in the meantime we’ve been working very actively in CAR both on the political end and of course on the humanitarian end,” Dujarric concluded on Wednesday.
The situation in the African republic escalated in December 2013, when clashes between Islamist militants from Seleka rebel group and Christian activists confronting them swept the Bangui. According to UN estimates, up to one million people were forced to flee their homes with over a thousand being killed since the conflict started.
The UN is set to become responsible for peacekeeping in the Central African Republic on September 15, replacing the African Union force which is currently in the country.