By Viola Giuliano and Josh Jorgensen
The United Nations Security Council in the coming weeks will be negotiating a new mandate for the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) – known by its acronym MINUSCA. Since the Security Council adopted the Mission’s current mandate last November, a new armed rebellion has plunged the country into a deeper protection crisis, and fundamentally changed the environment in which MINUSCA operates. On Oct. 15, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera announced a ceasefire to halt military operations, but unfortunately, the last 10 months of intense fighting has already further polarized the parties in the conflict, and going back to a viable and effective peace process will take time.
In this context, it is more important than ever that MINUSCA’s new mandate maintains protection of civilians as a priority task; that this task is carried out impartially, irrespective of the actor perpetrating the threat; and that MINUSCA’s support to the host state does not cause harm to civilians.