CAR crisis: Rwanda deploys last batch as UN seeks ‘more’ peacekeepers
The last batch of 850 Rwandan peacekeepers boarded a US Air Force plane for peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic yesterday, January 28, 2014.
The troops were flagged off by Gen. Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, the Rwanda Defence Force Army Chief of Staff, in the company of US Deputy Chief of Mission, Jessica Lapenn.
Rwanda and the US have agreed on joint collaboration to airlift the troops and 1,000 tonnes of equipment to Bangui in three weeks
However Ambassador Gerard Araud the French UN envoy has said that the United Nations may need at least 10,000 troops to end unrest and grim situation in Central African Republic.
The EU has agreed to send up to 600 troops to help African and French troops already deployed there. There are about 1,600 troops in CAR, working with some 4,000 from African countries, inclusive of 850 peacekeepers from Rwanda.
Other troops have been sent from Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Chad and Equatorial Guinea and are mandated to use force to protect civilians in Central African Republic, where reports of vicious cycle of vengeance between Muslim and Christian militias have been reportedly increasing.
Since their deployment on January 16, Rwandan forces have managed to intervene in the crisis by securing 37 civilians under attack to safety, recovering looted property and ammunitions and most importantly also trying to bring both the Muslim and Christian communities to a roundtable to sort out their difference
Apparently, the UN Human Rights says the security situation in CAR is getting worse despite the inauguration of a new leader, and about a million people – 20 percent of the population – have fled their homes during months of religious violence, after rebels seized power last March.
An elite force of the RDF has been tasked with maintaining security of the newly-elected CAR Interim President, Catherine Samba-Panza, guarding strategic installations in North Bangui including the Airport and Key Institutions like The Presidency Office and the Parliament.
In the meantime, Rwandan Peacekeepers in MISCA are working together with other African Troop Contributing Countries from Burundi, Cameroun, Chad, Gabon, and Republic of Congo.