MINUSCA preparing to take over from MISCA in CAR


With a month left before the full deployment of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), the UN envoy for that country said the situation remains “extremely volatile” notwithstanding pockets of improvement in the overall humanitarian and security situation.

The initial UN force that takes over peacekeeping duties in CAR from an AU force on September 15 will number around 7 600 soldiers and police Babacar Gaye, the UN envoy to CAR, said in New York after briefing the UN Security Council. Speaking after a closed Security council meeting UK deputy ambassador to the world body, Peter Wilson, reportedly told new media the full force of just on 12 000 strong would be on the ground by April.

In just under four weeks the UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSCA) will take over authority from the African-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA). Among its priorities will be implementation of the provisions of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities and setting up a mechanism to investigate violations.

Major General Martin Chomu Tumenta of Cameroon was commander of MISCA and was late last month re-hatted and is now commander of MINUSCA.

Close to 6 000 African members of MISCA are expected to be re-hatted and take up duties under the UN flag come the third Monday of next month.

Gaye is reported to have said militia groups continue to attack in CAR and there are vulnerable populations to need protection.
“A clear focus of the peacekeeping mission is on the protection of civilians.”

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous pointed out airlift would be a major factor in the successful deployment of MINUSCA when he gave the UN Security council a progress report on the mission in mid-July.
“Airlift capacity and other logistic assistance will be needed. The problem is the CAR is a landlocked country where roads are limited and it’s not easy,” he said of planned efforts to deploy MINUSCA troops across the strife-torn country.