OMP Solutions equips MINUSCA's Burundian peacekeepers
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, is increasing the capacities of the contingents already stationed in the country.
Amid Europe's gradual military withdrawal from Mali and as peacekeeping needs grow in the Central African Republic, three states are jostling for lucrative troop contribution contracts. But the UN's strict rules on equipment and training place tall hurdles in the way of their ambitions.
The decision was as sudden as it was shrouded in mystery: on 15 September, four months before Gabon joined the Security Council, the UN told Gabonese peacekeepers deployed in the Central African Republic to leave the country, citing cases of sexual abuse.
The chief of staff of the Ivorian armed forces has just taken delivery of 20 Cobra armoured vehicles from the Turkish manufacturer Otokar, with a view to deployment within MINUSCA in the Central African Republic.
The Chief of Staff of the Ivorian armed forces has placed an order for four DT-26 surveillance drones to be delivered this week by French manufacturer Delair. These new intelligence resources are intended to prevent attacks by armed groups in the northern border regions.
Relations between the UN and the Central African government are abysmal. Shots fired by presidential guards at Egyptian peacekeepers on 1 November served to underline deep-seated tensions between the head of the UN mission, Mankeur Ndiaye, and President Faustin Archange Touadéra.
To replace the Gabonese battalion withdrawn from the UN peacekeeping mission in CAR, the Ivorian high command is looking into sending 450 to 650 soldiers by the summer of 2022. But Abidjan will have to train and equip its troops quickly if it is to persuade the UN of their suitability.
The UN's decision to send the entire Gabonese contingent home from the Central African Republic following allegations of sexual abuse couldn't have come at a worse time for Libreville as it prepares to enter the Security Council in 2022.