A street scene in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has reported that it is on “high alert” as the situation in the war-torn country remains fragile, with armed groups threatening to destabilize its capital city, Bangui.
The Mission’s update was provided by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General at the regular press briefing at UN Headquarters, who said that MINUSCA “remains on high alert to prevent any attempts of armed ex-Séléka moving towards the capital, Bangui.”
On Saturday in the Kemo prefecture, MINUSCA and Sangaris (French-led) forces “confirmed the presence of approximately 150 ex-Séléka or Front Popularie pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC),” said the Deputy Spokesperson.
“MINUSCA engaged with their leader, Nourredine Adam in Kaga Bandoro and conveyed a strong message that the International Forces would not accept any movement of the armed groups towards Bangui.”
Mr. Haq added that the Mission is “very concerned over what it calls the organized infiltration of several armed groups in Bangui and has condemned all attempts to destabilize Bangui.”
“In accordance with its mandate to protect the civilian population from the threat of physical violence, the Mission, with support from Sangaris, has used force in reaction to attacks from FPRC elements around Sibut,” continued the spokesperson.
He also noted that, “unknown persons targeted MINUSCA on two occasions on Saturday,” although no casualties were recorded.”
“MINUSCA is determined to continue to use all necessary means to protect civilians, strengthen State authority and support the political process,” he said.
The ‘ad hoc Committee on elections’ agreed on a preliminary electoral calendar for CAR, which is scheduled to be presented to the National Transitional Council next week.
MINUSCA, set up in April 2014 to help bring peace after a breakdown of governmental authority and vicious intercommunal fighting between mainly the Muslim Séléka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement, currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the country, one of the world’s poorest.