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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.

U.N. proposes Central African Republic peacekeeping force

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations on Monday proposed a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force for conflict-ravaged Central African Republic that would have a "robust mandate" and initially focus on protecting civilians. The recommendation was included in a report from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the 15-nation Security Council.

UN wants 10,000 soldiers, 1,820 police for C.Africa

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday recommended deploying 11,820 peacekeepers in strife-torn Central African Republic, including 10,000 soldiers and 1,820 police officers, to re-establish order. In a report sent to the 15 members of the Security Council, Ban specified that the peacekeeping mission should focus, in the initial stage, on "the protection of civilians." avz/nss/jm

UN wants 10,000 soldiers, 1,820 police for C.Africa

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday recommended deploying 11,820 peacekeepers in strife-torn Central African Republic, including 10,000 soldiers and 1,820 police officers, to re-establish order. In a report sent to the 15 members of the Security Council, Ban specified that the peacekeeping mission should focus, in the initial stage, on "the protection of civilians." avz/nss/jm

India blocks funds to Amnesty over sourcing concerns

The Indian government has frozen funding of nearly half a million dollars to the rights group Amnesty International's local offshoot over concerns about the source of some of the cash, a newspaper reported Saturday. The home ministry decided to prevent Amnesty India from taking receipt of the money from its parent organisation in Britain after around a third of the overall amount was traced to an offshore trust. The trust, based on the island of Gibraltar, was set up by a gambling tycoon who has been convicted of fraud in the United States, said the report.

Act now to halt Central Africa atrocities: UN's Ban

The international community must act swiftly to halt bloodshed in the Central African Republic, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Friday, warning that unchecked atrocities and sectarian cleansing could lead to decades of conflict. The UN Secretary-General said that parts of the strife-torn country with no history of violence were being drawn into the conflict, and entire Muslim communities had fled in what has been described as an "exodus of historic scale."

UN chief warns of 'partition' in C.Africa

UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday that the strife-torn Central African Republic could split into two as he urged the global community to do more to prevent further atrocities there. "The sectarian brutality is changing the country's demography," Ban Ki-moon told reporters. "The de facto partition of the C.A.R. is a distinct risk." The impoverished former French colony descended into chaos last March after rebels overthrew the government, sparking deadly Christian-Muslim violence that has uprooted a million people.

Unicef blasts South Sudan over looted school backpacks

Unicef said Monday it was "extremely concerned" over the looting by South Sudan government troops of school supplies and backpacks that were supposed to be destined for children. The complaint came after large numbers of heavily-armed South Sudanese government soldiers, who are battling a seven-week-old rebellion, were photographed kitted out with bright-blue Unicef 'back to school' bags on their shoulders. "We are of course extremely concerned to see this flagrant abuse of UNICEF education materials by combatants," Unicef spokeswoman Sarah Crowe told AFP.

Sudan says Red Cross worked 'outside' mandate

Sudan on Sunday said it suspended activities of the international Red Cross because it violated guidelines for working in the war-torn country. "We observe that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is doing activities outside of its mandate under international law and the agreement with the government of Sudan," said a statement from Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission, which confirmed it suspended ICRC's activities as of February 1.

UN delegation eyes Mali peacekeeping challenge up close

A year after French troops sent Islamic militants scattering in Mali, a UN Security Council delegation is in the African country to weigh the challenges faced by the undermanned, African-led peacekeeping mission there. Gerard Araud, France's top representative on the Security Council and the head of the delegation, told reporters after arrival late Saturday in the capital Bamako that the delegation was to visit through to Monday, "with the aim of backing stabilisation in the country and action".
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