The United Nations peace mission in the Central African Republic has sought more equipment and peacekeepers amid the violence that has been escalating in the country since last month.
While speaking to the UN Security Council at a virtual meeting late Thursday, Mankeur Ndiaye, head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA) said “We need an increase in our capacity in order to respond to this new threat which is destabilizing the country even further.”
“If our requests are not heard, the response of the mission, and most particularly that of the forces, is going to be to do whatever it can. But troops are currently deployed over extremely large areas and as a result, the force only has limited response ability, and we cannot cover the entire territory because of the size of the country,” Ndiaye added.
He noted that assaults and ambushes have continued, and that some UN peacekeepers have also fallen victim, seven of whom have been killed in recent weeks.
Most of the attacks witnessed in the country are blamed on the so-called Coalition of Patriots for Change armed group, which is backed by former President Francois Bozize.
The situation in the landlocked Central African country has been tense since after Bozize’s candidacy for the Dec. 27, 2020 elections was turned down.
Former President Francois Bozize who is a retired general, seized power in a 2003 coup but was overthrown in a 2013 rebellion. Several militia groups, some close to Bozize, have since attacked armed forces, civilians, and UN peacekeeping forces.
The incumbent president Faustin-Archange Touadera, who won a second term in last month’s polls, has reiterated his commitment to peace in the country.
Last week, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) called for an immediate end to all armed violence in the Central African Republic, stating that some 60,000 people have been forced to flee the country since December.
Hutu Militia, FDLR, Deny Ambush, Assassination of Italian Envoy to D.R. Congo
A Hutu militia in eastern Congo, as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), has denied any involvement in Monday’s killing of Italy’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Luca Attanasio, 43, died of his injuries he sustained during an ambush on a United Nations convoy he was travelling in the eastern town of Goma. Vittorio Iacovacci, a 30-year-old Italian military police officer travelling with the envoy, and a Congolese World Food Programme driver, Mustapha Milambo, also died in the incident.
According to reports, the ambush was carried out by six armed men, who stopped the two-car convoy on the road. They fired point-blank shots at the bodyguard who died on the spot and at the ambassador, wounding him in the abdomen.
“The ambassador died of his wounds an hour later at the United Nations peacekeeping hospital in Goma,” the presidency said.
DR Congo’s Ministry of the Interior and Security had blamed the incident on FDLR but the group’s spokesman, Cure Ngoma, denied any involvement.
Describing the killing as ‘heinous assassination’, Ngoma wondered why his group was linked to the ambush, noting that over 100 armed groups operate in the area.
Ngoma said that “whoever will be identified as responsible for the attack should be severely punished”.
In a statement, the armed group said the attack happened in an area where both of DR Congo and Rwanda had a military presence – so any investigation should take that into account.
Italian Ambassador to DR Congo, Luca Attanasio, Killed in Attack on U.N. Convoy
The Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, was killed on Monday in an attack on a United Nations convoy in Goma, the east of the country.
A policeman travelling with him was also killed in the attack, Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed.
“It is with deep sorrow that the foreign ministry confirms the death today in Goma of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, and of a policemen from the carabinieri,” the Italian foreign ministry statement said.
“The ambassador and the soldier were travelling in a car in a convoy of Monusco, the United Nations Organisation stabilisation mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
According to local reports, the convoy was attacked near the town of Kanyamahoro at around 10:15 a.m. (0815 GMT) and was part of a kidnap attempt.
Many armed groups operate in and around Virunga, which lies along Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda, and they have repeatedly attacked Virunga rangers.
“The three fatalities have been identified as the Italian Ambassador to DRC, Luca Attanasio, an Italian embassy official, and a WFP driver,” the UN agency said in a statement.
Other passengers were also injured as the delegation was set to visit a WFP school feeding program.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio left a meeting in Brussels to return to Rome following the news.
“The circumstances of this brutal attack are not yet known and no effort will be spared to shed light on what happened,” Di Maio said on Facebook, honouring the victims as “two servants of the state.”
Burundi, Ethiopia to Strengthen Bilateral Ties
The two Presidents later released a joint communique, asking concerned sector Cabinet ministries to put in place a strategy that will revive their co-operation, through working sessions and of the joint permanent commission between both countries to be convened.
Burundi and Ethiopia’s Presidents have met in Bujumbura, the Burundian capital to discuss the strengthening of bilateral ties, among other issues.
Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde ended a two-day working tour of Burundi last week, as the two countries move to improve their bilateral ties.
Speaking on her arrival at the Melchior Ndadaye International Airport in Burundi, she said; “We felt something has been missing in our relations and even with this high level of delegation of Ethiopia to Burundi, none of us has visited this beautiful country before. So I’m extremely honoured to be the first.”
She was met by her counterpart President Evariste Ndayishimiye. During her tour of the capital Bujumbura, Zewde visited the manufacturing companies, and the mausoleum, before holding a closed-door meeting with President Ndayishimiye.
The two later released a joint communique, asking concerned sector cabinet ministries to put in place a strategy that will revive their co-operation and bilateral ties through working sessions, and the joint permanent commission between both countries to be convened.
Part of the communique reads: “Both presidents stressed the need to strengthen continental, regional, and sub-regional organizations in the promotion and consolidation of peace, security, stability and sustainable development.”
Ethiopia and Burundi are among African countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) and are under the Inter-governmental partnership of the Nile Basin Initiative.
The Ethiopian president is the first to visit Burundi since Ndayishimiye was elected last year.
Over eight months in office, President Ndayishimiye’s government has prioritized mending and strengthening of diplomatic ties and relations with neighbouring countries and the international community.
French Group Fined $14.55M, Industrialist to Go on Trial over Togo Bribe Case
Nigeria Seeks U.S’ Help on Army Aviation Unit
Residents Protest as Bandits Abduct 317 Schoolgirls in Zamfara, Northern Nigeria
Kenya Space Agency to Launch Two Mini-Rockets
Palesa Madiba’s Killer Sentenced 31 years
Africa’s Wissa, Moffi Lift Lorient over PSG in 3-2 Thriller
Payback Time! Nigerian Communities Can Now Sue Shell over Oil Spills
Global Tourism Loses $1.3tn in 2020 Due to Coronavirus
Review: People Like Lauretta Hardly Think Before They Talk! – Liborous Fumes At #OccupyLekkiTollGate Aftermath
Six Ghanaians Arrested in the U.S. over $50M Romance, COVID-19 Relief Scam
Boosting Africa’s Revenue | The Remittances and Taxation Conversation
China’s Belt and Road Initiative | Is Debt Slowing China’s Advancement?
3rd Mainland Bridge | Rehabilitation Work Nears Completion.
Crude Oil | OPEC Battles to Avoid Glut As Price Rises Above $50
World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects For January 2021
Entertainment5 days ago
#14th Headies: Wizkid Emerges Artiste of the Year as Fireboy, Omah Lay Win Big
News3 days ago
Nigerian Government Concessions Twelve Highways to Investors
Business News2 days ago
Review: “It Should Bother Us That Our Existence Is Tied To Oil” Tunji Andrews Speaks On Recession
Business News3 days ago
Review: Selling Assets to Fund the National Budget is Irresponsible – Tunji Andrews
News5 days ago
Review: Many Govt Officials Just Blow Siren And Disturb Public Peace, They Are Not Working! – Dr. Ona Ekhomu
Health2 days ago
12 Die of COVID-19 Complications in Nigeria
West Africa Politics3 days ago
Protests as Bazoum is Declared Winner of Niger’s Presidential Election
West Africa Sports News3 days ago
Tributes as 21-year-old Ivorian Player, Willy Ta Bi, Dies of Liver Cancer