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Central Africa

New MONUSCO Boss Bintou Keita Starts Work

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Bintou Keita,63 , the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, made her first trip to the interior of the country on March 9, more specifically to Goma (North Kivu), in the east of the country.

She spoke with Governor Carly Kasivita. The two discussed the precarious security situation in the region where the peacekeepers are supporting the Congolese security forces in the fight against the negative forces.

“If you listened to me when I arrived during the audience with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and then the Head of State, you understood that the priority of peace and the stabilization of eastern Congo is fundamental,” Keita said while speaking to press.

According to her, there is a political will to strengthen the positive partnership that already exists between the governorate and MONUSCO and particularly to work together on one of the priority aspects of stabilization and the fight against insecurity which concerns the DDRCS (Editor’s note: Disarmament, demobilization, Community Reintegration and Stabilization),” Bintou Keita told reporters briefly after meeting Governor Kasivita.

Governor Kasivita of North Kivu insisted on the need to strengthen the Congolese security system thanks to the contribution of the UN mission whose withdrawal plan is still on the table.

“For North Kivu, it’s security first. The United Nations are present in our country to accompany us in the search for peace and the restoration of state authority. We spoke with Keita about approaches that can consolidate state authority. We also talked about development. We also talked about what to do so that the transition from leaving MONUSCO is a process discussed together with the grassroots authorities. Strengthening the security system of our police and our army is one of the best responses to this transition, ”said the head of the provincial executive of North Kivu.

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi also hosted Bintou Keita on March 4.

Bintou succeeds Leila Zerrougui who has completed her term as head of Monusco.

Meanwhile, Keita was Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. She joined the United Nations in 1989. She notably served as Deputy Joint Special Representative to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

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Central Africa

Rwandan Police Peacekeepers Lauded For Excellent Discipline

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The Joint Task-Force Bangui (JTFB) commander, Brig. Gen. Ely M’Bereck Elkair, on Thursday, September 16, visited Rwanda Formed Police Unit One (RWAFPU-1) serving under the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and commended the contingent for their discipline and contribution to the mission mandate.

Brig. Gen. Elkair and his delegation were received at the RWAFPU-1 Camp-Fidele base in the capital Bangui by the contingent commander, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Claude Bizimana.

CSP Bizimana briefed the JTFB commnder on the assigned peacekeeping tasks, achievements, challenges and routine operations.

Brig. Gen. Elkair appreciated the contingent for their resilience and work done as well as the general environment in the RWAFPU-1 camp.

“MINUSCA recognizes your discipline and appreciates what you do for the people of Central African Republic,” Brig. Gen. Elkair said while briefing the contingent.

He urged them to maintain the spirit and avoid acts of sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Keep the existing professional standards and values that define Rwandan Police officers, ensure continuous full time command and control,” he added.

CSP Bizimana, on his part, thanked the entire MINUSCA leadership for the continued support adding that the contingent remains committed to its mandate despite the challenges encountered.

RWAFPU-1 is one of the three Rwandan Police contingents of combined 460 officers deployed in CAR.

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Central Africa

MINUSCA Police Commissioner Visits Rwandan Peacekeepers

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The Head of Police Component for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), CP Christophe Bizimungu, on Monday, August 10, visited Rwandan Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) and urged them to stay focused on their mission mandate.

CP Bizimungu was received at the FPU-1 base camp by the contingent commander, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Claude Bizimana, who briefed him on the tasks assigned, achievements as well as challenges they face.

The MINUSCA HoPC was also given a guided tour of the camp facilities, operations and their readiness.
Later, the Police Commissioner met and addressed all Police officers where he appreciated the work they do to protect the civilians and to bring about peace and security in CAR

He further urged them to maintain discipline and professionalism by “ensuring full-time command and control to accomplish their peacekeeping duties.”

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Central Africa

Russia ‘Wins’ Central African Republic, France Angry

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The scramble for influence in Central African Republic has pitted France against Russia- both western powers that have historically flexed for control of resources in this African country.

According to details, France has formalised suspension of part of its aid to the Central African Republic.The gap is widening between Paris and Bangui, which has relied on a rapprochement with Russia.

It is now official that the French Ministry of the Armed Forces announced on June 9 that Paris would suspend its military aid and cooperation with the Central African Republic.

The French Armed Forces Ministry said Paris had cut Euros10 million in budget aid and stopped all direct military cooperation.

France is accusing Central African Republic of “disinformation campaigns targeting French representatives”.

The tough sanction comes against a backdrop of tensions between Bangui and Paris, which has been alarmed for months by the growing influence of Russia over the Central African government. 

The decision was taken as Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada returned from a visit to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, on his return from which he was greeted at Bangui airport by Dmitriy Sytyi, a Russian national well known to Central Africans and linked to the private security company Wagner.

Officially, the Wagner company does not operate in the Central African Republic, where only Russian instructors cooperate with the Central African army. 

However, according to many sources, this company linked to Evgeny Prigozhin, employs up to 3,000 men in Central African territory and is connected to several mining companies under local law.

Did Bangui definitely choose Moscow to the detriment of Paris? What is the government’s position on the presence of mercenaries on its soil? 

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