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UN authorizes peacekeeping in Central African Republic

The UN Security Council (UNSC) [official website] voted unanimously on Thursday to authorize deployment of peacekeepers to the Central African Republic (CAR) following escalating violence in the nation's capital Bangui. Through Security Council Resolution 2127 [materials], the UNSC approved the existing International Support Mission (MISCA), a peacekeeping force created by the African Union (AU) [official website] to respond to the situation in CAR, as well as a detachment of French troops to support the mission for 12 months.The Resolution also calls on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] to establish a fund to support MISCA and a year-long embargo on the sale or transfer of military equipment in the CAR. AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma [official profile] welcomed the UNSC’s decision, and expressed satisfaction [press release, in French] with the cooperation between the two international bodies. Dozens have been killed as a result of clashes [CNN report] between former rebels now in charge of the country and supporters of ousted President Francois Bozize [World Biography profile]. With 650 French troops already based at the Bangui airport, an additional 250 were deployed throughout the city on Thursday. Total deployment is expected to reach 1,200 troops in an effort to further protect French interests and citizens [Reuters report], according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius [official profile].

There have been continued reports of gross human rights violations in the CAR since rebel forces, known as Seleka, seized the nation's capital [BBC backgrounder] in March. Last month the UN Deputy Secretary-General urged the Security Council to voted in favor [JURIST report] of further military intervention. Earlier in November UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that continued violence between militias, rebels and government forces in the CAR threatens to lead the country into renewed conflict. [JURIST report] In October a group of independent UN human rights experts expressed concern [JURIST report] over the situation in the CAR and urged the transitional authorities to take urgent measures to protect the population from atrocity crimes and restore public order. In September the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) urged [JURIST report] the transitional government to do "its utmost to ensure the protection of IDPs and to facilitate the humanitarian response." Michel Djotodia declared himself the nation's leader in March after the Seleka seized the nation's capital and caused Bozize to flee the country. Ban has condemned [JURIST report] the coup by the Seleka rebels and advocated for the "swift restoration of constitutional order."

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