Central African Republic: How Are the Western Allies Following The Crisis?


By Scott Morgan

The recent decision by Ivory Coast to send 450 Troops to the Central African Republic to support the UN Peacekeeping Mission (MINUSCA), currently in place in the Country, can be seen as just how concerned that Francophone Africa is with events that are unfolding in the country.

However, they are not the only actors currently showing any interest into the welfare, and potentially the future, of the struggling nation. Some of those making their presence felt are non-state actors: the first group are the Militias who are the main drivers of conflict in the Country. Some of them are Muslim such as the former Seleka which actually drove out a Government back in 2012-13 and the Anti-Balakas which are Christian - which are the main focus on the Peacekeeping efforts.

Notwithstanding, there is another group of individuals who are now currently active in the country: we are talking about two Russian Private Security Companies. There was a legal hurdle that needed to be cleared up first. It seems that the Central African Republic is under an Arms Embargo mandated by the UN Security Council. So, in December 2017, the Security Council granted Russia a waiver to send people in and train and equip two battalions of the new proposed Army for the Central African Republic. Grudgingly the United States, France and the United Kingdom signed off on this project.

So, an interesting question arises: just how will the Western Powers monitor this effort?

It appears that these groups are the Kalishnikov Group (which first went into the country within days of the waiver being granted by the Security Council) and the Wagner Private Military Company (which entered the country sometime before January 21st of this year). On the 22nd of March of this year, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that a small batch of arms and ammunition was delivered to CAR by Russia in order to facilitate this project.

However, it seems like Russia is not the only nation interested in the events that are currently flying under the radar of most media outlets. Another country has expressed an interest in CAR (an interest that predates the waiver granted to Russia to start its training program): Israel.

Just a mere month before the UN Security Council approved a request by Israel (to highlight its growing IT sector through technical support to MINUSCA), it was revealed that Israel has been supporting the UN Mission since 2015 by providing static and mobile observation platforms that improved the Mission’s situational awareness and reduced incidents of violence and prevent loss of life during such events.

Question: which effort will be more effective in the long run? 

There is a train of thought that by training and providing equipment to the Army so they can provide Security for the Country is a noble and laudable goal. However, one fact that is working in the opposite direction is the inability of MINUSCA to provide adequate security outside the Capital of Bangui. There are parts of Bangui where this is an issue itself.

The Israeli efforts to provide technical support to the mission should allow for MINUSCA to improve its reaction time to events and even to provide Security on patrols outside Bangui. As some of the Militias attack UN Peacekeepers outside the Capital, the technology provided by Israel has the potential to document whatever incidents take place so that the perpetrators can be held responsible.

So, how are the Western Allies keeping tabs on what is going on in CAR? AFRICOM and the French Military are active in several of the neighbors of the Central African Republic. It can be assumed that they are watching and documenting what is going on in the Country. And will probably take the proper response when events warrant them.


[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]

Comments

  1. Israel is much better for any country than Russia. Let's put it in simple terms and say that while Russia spreads death, Israel spreads life and human development! It's a no brainer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish Israel all the best in CAR. And it would be nice if Russia could step outside her comfort zone and do some tangible-no-strings-attached good for a change.

    ReplyDelete

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