United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday requested the deployment of 250 peacekeepers to protect the global body's personnel and facilities in the strife-torn Central African Republic.
In a letter to the UN Security Council, Ban proposed the establishment of a "guard unit" to protect the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).
According to a copy of the letter obtained by AFP, the proposed unit initially would be composed of 250 military personnel deployed in Bangui.
"The guard unit would, in a second phase, increase its strength to a batallion of 560 military personnel, with its own enablers, in order to progressively deploy to locations outside Bangui where the UN has a presence," the letter added.
"Given the urgency of the situation," Ban proposed redeploying UN peacekeepers currently working on another unnamed mission.
Provision for a protection unit were included in a UN Security Council resolution adopted on October 8, leaving Ban to draw up details of the composition and remit of the peacekeeping team.
The Central African Republic has been in chaos since last March, when Seleka rebels toppled President Francois Bozize.