The United Nations (UN) announced yesterday that it has appointed Brigadier-General (retired) Fernand Marcel Amoussou of Benin to lead an independent special investigation into the escalating violence in the Central African Republic and the response of the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, to attacks against civilians, particularly in the southeast of the country.

Alison Giffen, Director of Peacekeeping at the Center for Civilians in Conflict, said the following in response to the announcement:

“This investigation is an important step by the UN to hold peacekeepers who are unable or unwilling to act to account. Civilians in CAR have faced a devastating year of violence. While MINUSCA has succeeded in protecting some from egregious violence, it has failed to protect others. The mission needs personnel that are well-trained, properly equipped, and willing to protect civilians from escalating violence. We welcome the UN’s commitment to make the findings of the investigation public to help ensure the recommendations are implemented without delay and lessons are applied to other peacekeeping operations facing similar challenges.”

The UN Security Council will renew the MINUSCA mandate on Wednesday, November 15. The Council will likely approve an additional 900 troops for MINUSCA. CIVIC and other non-governmental organizations have advocated for additional troops to help MINUSCA stem the deteriorating situation in CAR and have underlined that the new personnel must be rapidly deployable, well-trained, properly equipped, and willing to implement their mandate. Violence against civilians has escalated since May, including in towns and villages in the eastern prefectures of the country.

Background:

###

Notes to editors:

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact us at comms@civiliansinconflict.org.

Image courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe