UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is of the opinion the world body is “in a race against time for the re-hatting” of the AU Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR).
MISCA, the current peacekeeping mission in the strife-torn country, is due to become MINUSCA (UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission) in September with an initial staffing level of 10 000 military personnel and 1 800 police. Also in its ranks will be 240 military observers and 200 staff officers.
His comment was made during a UN Security Council debate on regional partnerships, focussing on the world body’s co-operation with African regional groups as well as with entities under the auspices of the EU. The council wants to “further enhance the relationship between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations, in particular the AU” according to a resolution adopted by the Council.
It also highlights the need to develop regional and sub-regional; organisations’ abilities to deploy peacekeeping forces rapidly to support the UN blue helmets. This directive will see the Secretary-General present a “lessons learnt” exercise together with specific recommendations by year-end.
To ensure smooth operation of future deployments the world body also wants to see a list of necessary capabilities and recommendations to assist the AU in developing its military, police, technical, logistic and administrative capacities.
Ban said while the need for a UN mission in the CAR was “great” there had been slower than expected support for it. This in turn meant the UN, AU en EU “together with other key partners need to do better”.
He stressed the international community should use existing mechanisms and capacity more effectively.
“We must bring them together in a way that will finally allow the international community to response more quickly.”