[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] on Thursday unanimously voted to approve [press release] a peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic (CAR). UN troops, which will be known as MINUSCA, will be made up of up to 10,000 troops, 1,800 police and 20 corrections officers and will not take over until September. French troops are also authorized to help MINUSCA in any way necessary. The peacekeeping force will be in charge of tasks such as protecting civilians; supporting for transition process; facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance; protecting UN personnel and properties; promoting and protecting human rights; supporting national and international justice and the rule of law; and ensuring the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation of former combatants.
International concern continues to grow in the wake of reports of gross human rights violations in CAR since the Seleka rebel forces seized the nations capital last March. Earlier this month, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile; JURIST news archive] strongly condemned [JURIST report] the violence against civilians and international forces working to aid the CAR [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Last month the UN Security Council established an International Commission of Inquiry [JURIST report] on CAR, tasked with examining reports of human rights violations, compiling information, and helping identify perpetrators. In February UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay prompted [JURIST report] CAR leaders to remember their legal obligations and stressed that they are personally accountable for human rights violations. Also that month Amnesty International [advocacy website] urged the international community [JURIST report] to take immediate and effective action to halt the spread of sectarian violence and “ethnic cleansing” within the western part of CAR. In January the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng warned [JURIST report] that urgent national and international action is necessary to stop the violence in CAR. Also that month, the UN reported that more than 6,000 child soldiers may be involved [JURIST report] in the conflict in CAR. Earlier in January the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons urged the international community to assist individuals who have been internally displaced [JURIST report] due to the ongoing violence in CAR.