By TRG Alerts Admin
The Rendon Group Snapshot Report
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
More Peacekeepers are Needed in the Central African Republic
Source: New Times of Rwanda, 10FEB14
This week’s snapshot focuses on the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR). The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, recently announced the need for more peacekeeping troops to be deployed to the country. The European Union responded with a commitment of 1,000 troops on 01APR, after several EU nations volunteered troops to support the current African Union force in CAR at the EU-Africa Summit held in Brussels. France was previously the only EU nation with troops in the country, but had lobbied other European states for support on behalf of its former colony. The deployment of peacekeeping troops to CAR began in December 2013, when the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of 2,000 French and 6,000 African troops to restore order in Bangui. Recent events have led to Chad withdrawing its peacekeeping forces from CAR.
News Summary of events during the week of 31MAR14-07APR14
Sample of Twitter handles regarding Central African Republic
@bouckap – Peter Bouckaert, Director of the Emergencies Division at Human Rights Watch
@RemyOurdan – Remy Ourdan, Journalist for Le Monde, WARM Foundation
@astroehlein – Andrew Stroehlein, European Media Director at Human Rights Watch
@MarkLGoldberg – Mark L Goldberg, Co-founder of DAWNS Digest, UN Dispatch Editor
@geoffreyyork – Geoffrey York, Africa correspondent for The Globe and Mail
@Anne_Poulsen – Head of UN World Food Programme’s Nordic Office in Copenhagen
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Central African Republic
Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Adviser, Amnesty International
““They’re calling their superiors and hopefully someone will get moving,” Mariner says. “It’s actually very hard to get anyone to do anything here. We’ve been in a situation where we’re begging at every possible organization. I think the problem is they don’t have enough staff.”
– Can Peacekeepers Save the Central African Republic?, Time, 30Jan14
Lewis Mudge, Researcher, Human Rights Watch
“These horrendous killings show that the French and African Union peacekeeping deployment is not protecting villages from these deadly attacks.”
– Chad, Amid Criticism, Will Pull Troops from Force in Central Africa, The New York Times, 04APR14
Peter Yeo, Executive Director, Better World Campaign
“[The US sees the] value of peacekeeping and understand it’s a bargain compared to going it alone,” he said. “But with this support does come cost. And the administration is correctly asking the U.N. to tighten its belt, as it should. And it has.”
– UN Debates the Breadth of a Mission in the Central African Republic, New York Times, 03MAR14
Peter Bouckaert, Director of the Emergencies Division, Human Rights Watch
“We observed that the situation had changed since French peacekeeping forces, operating under the auspices of the United Nations, had arrived. Over the past few days, French warplanes had repeatedly flown over Bossangoa to put the armed groups on notice. Those planes were delivering a message to the rebels, I said: Rule by the gun and you will end up in The Hague, or treat the population properly and rule through respect.”
– Face to Face with the Colonel, NYT, 11DEC13
Jared Genser, Founder of Freedom Now, Managing Director of Perseus Strategies LLC
“The UN must work to prevent the escalation of violence and preserve what progress has been made in the Central African Republic. With key support from the US, the Security Council should increase its efforts to deploy a better equipped, larger UN peacekeeping mission to CAR.”
– Central African Republic needs UN peacekeepers now, Christian Science Monitor, 14JAN14
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to peacekeepers in the Central African Republic
1. UN secretary general reaffirms deployment of 12,000 peacekeepers in Central African Republic
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 07 April 2014
BANGUI, April 7 (Xinhua) — United Nations secretary general Ban Ki Moon has reaffirmed the UN’s determination to deploy 12,000 peacekeepers to Central African Republic, a country that has witnessed deadly violence for over a year.
Ban was speaking over the weekend after arriving in Bangui for a surprise brief visit that lasted for a few hours.
The visit comes a few days before the UN Security Council votes on the proposal to send peacekeepers to Central African Republic to take over from the African Union-led International Support Mission for Central African Republic, MISCA.
2. U.N. chief says Central African Republic peacekeepers ‘overwhelmed’
Byline: Hubert-Mary Djamany
Date: 05 April 2014
BANGUI (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Saturday that French and African soldiers in Central African Republic were “overwhelmed” by a “state of anarchy,” a day after Chadian troops began withdrawing from the peacekeeping mission.
The U.N. Security Council is due to approve next week a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for the former French colony, which will take over authority from African Union troops in an attempt to restore order to the impoverished country.
3. Norway refuses to send troops to CAR
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 04 April 2014
OSLO, April 4 (Xinhua) — Norway will not contribute troops to the European Union (EU) peacekeeping force for the Central African Republic (CAR), said a high-ranking diplomat in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry on Friday.
“Norway has no opportunities to prioritize a military contribution to the EU force in the Central African Republic,” Baard Glad Pedersen, state secretary in the Foreign Ministry, was quoted by the Norwegian news agency NTB as saying.
4. U.N. says Chadian soldiers killed 30 in Central African Republic attack
Date: 04 April 2014
GENEVA (Reuters) – Chadian soldiers killed 30 civilians and seriously wounded more than 300 in an indiscriminate attack on a market on March 29 in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, a spokesman for the U.N. human rights office said on Friday.
Rupert Colville, reporting on a preliminary investigation that had interviewed survivors, said a convoy of pick-up trucks from Chad’s regular army, not part of an African Union peacekeeping force, entered the market and started firing in all directions.
The attack appeared to have stopped when Congolese peacekeepers arrived on the scene, he said.
5. Chad to withdraw troops from AU mission in Central African Republic
Date: 03 April 2014
PARIS/NDJAMENA (Reuters) – Chad has decided to withdraw its troops from the African Union peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic, according to a Chadian diplomat and a document seen by Reuters.
Chadian soldiers have been at the heart of the African Union mission’s efforts to stabilize Central African Republic but its forces have been criticized for siding with the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.
6. Crisis talks on CAfrica as mammoth EU-Africa summit opens
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 01 April 2014
BRUSSELS, April 02, 2014 (AFP) – African and European leaders hold crisis talks on the escalating violence in the Central African Republic on Wednesday as some 80 nations gather in Brussels for a key summit.
Conflict, illegal migration and fears of more jihadist turmoil look set to dominate the mammoth gathering held a day after the European Union announced the launch of a rare military mission to restore peace in the Central African Republic (CAR), scene of some of the worst violence seen in years on the continent.
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