The United Nations (U.N.) Security Council last week approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access in Central African Republic (CAR) which has been gripped by violent conflict since December 2012.
The Council authorized the mandate of the mission which will be known as UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) through 30 April 2015.
MINUSCA will initially comprise up to 10,000 military personnel, including 240 military observers and 200 staff officers, as well as 1,800 police personnel, including 1,400 formed police unit personnel and 400 individual police officers, and 20 corrections officers.
According to the UN, the crisis in CAR has left thousands of people dead, and 2.2 million, about half the population of CAR, in need of humanitarian aid. More than 650,000 people are still internally displaced, and over 290,000 have fled to neighbouring countries in search of refuge.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon recently warned that if ignored, violence in Central African Republic could escalate until there is “a repeat” of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.