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Youth protest against MINUSCA in Bangui

Youths numbering over 50 have gathered outside BanguiMpoko airport in the Central African Republic to protest againstMINUSCA, the United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Youths protest against MINUSCA in Bangui

Sometimes it seems that MINUSCA's Mission is to prevent usfrom being free of bandits,” said one of the protesters.

Slogans written on large banners reflect discontent and demand answers: “Who will answer for MINUSCA's crimes?”, “MINUSCA military component out of CAR”, “MINUSCA+CPC=friendship”.

The protest coincides with thearrival of the UN commission from New York, to attend the transhumance conference.

The conference on May 13 in Bangui, will be attended by the President of the Republic, Faustin Archange Touadera, the Head of Government of the Central African Republic, Félix Moloua, the leaders of MINUSCA and the United Nations commission from New York.

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The Conference is expected analyse the main challenges and persistent obstacles and identify courses of action to achieve collective results.

It is worth recalling that the Mission's mandate will expire very soon and the UN representatives will start lobbying to extend their mandate with the pretext that there are still bandits in the country who threaten safe transhumance and the military Blue Helmets need to be extended for at least another year.

However, the mission has been criticized by the public, as MINUSCA soldiers are often implicated in scandals.

For example, it is worth recalling the recent case of late April, when FACA(French:ForcesAmeesCentraAfricaines),in cooperation with Russian instructors, discovered a long-term militant camp in the Ouadda area, where a MINUSCA base was located a few hundred meters away.

However, the peacekeepers did nothing about it; they concealed the location of the militant camp from the Bangui authorities in order elongate their stay in the Central African Republic for their own personal interests.

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Therefore, in the run-up to the renewal of the mandate, protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with the peacekeeping mission, accusing it of lack of transparency and failure to resolve conflicts in the region.

Special attention was paid to the military component of MINUSCA, demanding its immediate withdrawal from CAR.

The youth of the Central African Republic demonstrated their activism and civic position, advocating changes in the UN Peacekeeping Mission's policy.

By Lazarus Odenge

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