France, the United Kingdom and the United States put a hold on a request from Central African Republic (CAR) for UN Security Council approval of weapons shipments from China for its national defense forces.
CAR’s defense minister Marie Noelle Koyara asked a UN sanctions committee to grant an exemption on a arms embargo and allow the Chinese shipments.
China is donating the equipment to Central African Republic and the list of equipment to be shipped by China’s Poly Technologies. CAR is tortured by a bloody religious war between the Muslim government forces and Christian opposition militias.
The shipment includes 12 armored vehicles and four assault vehicles, 300 rockets, 500 anti-tank grenades, 50 pistols, six sniper rifles, 10 submachine guns, and 30 other type of machine guns of various calibers, 15,000 tear gas grenades and 725,000 rounds of ammunition.
The weaponry would help strengthen national government forces who are “confronted by escalating violence of Christian armed groups whose illegal activities pose a threat to civil order.”
Despite its significant mineral deposits and other resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber, and hydropower, as well as significant quantities of arable land, the Central African Republic is among the ten poorest countries in the world.
The war thorn Central African country’s current borders were established by France, which ruled the country as a colony starting in the late 19th century. After gaining so-called independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic was ruled by a series of autocratic capitalist supported leaders.
Earlier during the 16th and 17th centuries slave traders began to raid the region as part of the expansion of the Saharan and Nile River slave routes.
Their captives were enslaved and shipped to the Mediterranean coast, Europe, Arabia, the Western Hemisphere, or to the slave ports and factories along the West and North Africa or South the Ubanqui and Congo rivers.
Today, building up the defense and security forces, alongside Minusca, progressive deployment of those forces safeguards the security of people must ensure the enforcement of state authority.
The request for the Chinese weaponry is backed by the EU military training mission and by the UN operation Minusca, which has come under repeated attacks from armed groups.
CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera’s weak government controls around a 20% of the Central African Republic and relies heavily on Minusca for support. The rest of CAR is controlled by at least 14 different militia groups – the mainly Christian anti-Balaka in the southwest and mainly Muslim ex-Seleka in the northeast.
The Central African Republic exploded into violence following the 2013 overthrow of longtime puppet Francois Bozize, prompting France to intervene with its Operation Sangaris. Minusca took over an African Union-led mission in 2014 and now has around 15.000 soldiers in service.
However, UNICEF admits failing with child sex victims of alleged abuse by so-called UN peacekeeping soldiers.
Several boys testified having been sexually assaulted by French soldiers were living rough, while a girl, who became pregnant at the age of 14 by a Congolese peacekeeper and had later found out she was HIV-positive, was out of school looking after her baby.
As the largest international organization that provides help to children in CAR, UNICEF has a big responsibility. They must continuously watch to do their work as well as possible.
The Guardian / ABC Flash Point Africa News 2018.