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UN approves peacekeepers for Central African Republic

The Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to send 12,000 UN peacekeepers to Central African Republic, where violence between Christians and Muslims has triggered fears of genocide. The resolution, submitted by France, will deploy up to 10,000 military personnel and 1,800 police to the former French colony, where sectarian violence has killed thousands in the last year. The UN peacekeeping mission is scheduled to take over on September 15 from 2,000 French and 6,000 African Union soldiers already in place.

Security Council 'to give green light' to C.Africa mission

The Security Council of the UN is expected to adopt a resolution Thursday authorizing the deployment to Central African Republic in September of about 12,000 peacekeepers, diplomats say. The resolution will be submitted by France and will see a force initially comprising up to 10,000 military personnel and 1,800 police deploy to a country where thousands have been killed since sectarian violence broke out a year ago, triggering fears of genocide.

UN Mission in DR Congo prepares withdrawal

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Wednesday it is preparing a gradual withdrawal from the country despite the continued presence of dozens of armed groups. Late last month, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate for one more year of its stabilisation mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) and its intervention brigade charged with "neutralising" foreign and domestic armed groups.

EU launches Central Africa military operation

The European Union officially launched its delayed military mission to the Central African Republic on Tuesday, seeking to bolster French and African forces that have failed to end months of Christian-Muslim violence. The 1,000-strong force, dubbed EUFOR RCA, will work to restore security to the capital Bangui during a six-month mission, with a view to handing over to a United Nations peacekeeping operation or African troops, the EU said.

AU brands Central African Republic militia 'terrorists' after peacekeeper killed

BANGUI (Reuters) - The African Union on Tuesday branded militia targeting Muslims in Central African Republic as "terrorists" and said they would be treated as enemy combatants, a day after a Congolese peacekeeper was killed. The statement suggested deepening international frustration at continuing violence in the impoverished and landlocked country despite the deployment of 2,000 French soldiers and a 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission.

France bemoans troop shortage for EU force in C.Africa

The French commander of a European Union peacekeeping force which had been due to deploy in the Central African Republic this week said Wednesday he did not have enough soldiers. "The deployment hinges on the creation of a logistical unit of around 100 forces," General Philippe Ponties told French radio RFI, describing the shortage of volunteers as "worrying". Former colonial power France sent troops to Bangui in December in a bid to stem a cycle of ethnic and religious killing the world feared could evolve into genocide.

War-torn South Sudan facing 'spectre' of famine: US, EU envoys

South Sudan faces possible famine if warring forces continue to flout a ceasefire deal, US and EU envoys warned Thursday, after almost three months of raging conflict left thousands dead. "The parties have failed to respect their commitment to the January 23 cessation of hostilities," said United States envoy Donald Booth, at a meeting of regional leaders in Ethiopia on the conflict in the world's youngest country. "This failure has led to thousands of additional deaths and an ever worsening humanitarian situation, with South Sudan facing a possible famine," he added.

U.N. says west of Central African Republic 'cleansed' of Muslims

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Most Muslims have been expelled from the west of conflict-ravaged Central African Republic, where thousands of civilians are at risk of being killed "right before our eyes," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.

C.Africa in dire need of peacekeepers

Top UN officials said Thursday a peacekeeping mission is essential for stabilizing Central African Republic and aiding civilians -- but there will be no "quick fix" there. The nearly 12,000 peacekeepers the United Nations hopes to deploy by September will be operating in "a particularly challenging environment," UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said at the Security Council.

UN to hammer out details of C.Africa peacekeeping plan

United Nations diplomats will begin hammering out the details of a peacekeeping plan for the Central African Republic on Thursday hoping to restore order to the strife-torn country. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended deploying a 12,000-strong force to the former French colony, where political and sectarian violence following a coup last year has left thousands dead. In a 24-page report to the UN Security Council, Ban called for a force of 10,000 soldiers and 1,820 police officers to be sent to CAR in order to halt the bloodshed.
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