UN mandate in the Central African Republic is expiring November 15: isn’t time to say goodbye at last?

The people of the Central African Republic have expressed their anger at the UN mission (MINUSCA), and their rejection of the organization’s criminal activities, especially since several times MINUSCA employees have been seen committing crimes such as smuggling, killing innocent people, illegally transferring weapons to rebels, and other crimes.

On the other hand, some experts in this regard have expressed the ineffectiveness of MINUSCA in its mission to protect citizens, Ms. Marie-Therese Keita-Bocoum independent UN expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, said that in the seven years of their presence in the Central African Republic, UN peacekeepers have failed to contain the militants, while revenues from illegal economic activities and arms shipments have helped strengthen the rebels’ position.

Ms. Marie-Therese Keita-Bocoum further emphasized an important point, which is that MINUSCA is funded through a separate account approved by the General Assembly on an annual basis. The budget for the period July 2020 to June 2021 is $1,006,428,200 and the Mission is still seeking additional funding from the UN.

James Wilson, a journalist who has been following the issue of MINUSCA’s presence in the Central African Republic, agreed with Keita-Bocoum’s assessment of MINUSCA, and in his turn stated that considering MINUSCA’s poor effectiveness in protecting civilians and the fact that the peacekeepers themselves are blamed for contributing to increased levels of violence in the region, it becomes clear that MINUSCA, as designed, is outdated and is not benefiting the local populations on the ground.

He went on to say that the national army, on the other hand, is now fully capable of protecting its national territory and its civilians. Is it perhaps time to disband MINUSCA?

Wes Martin, a retired U.S. Army colonel who served in military police and law enforcement posts around the world, responded to this question by stating that peacekeepers are deployed to war-torn nations to protect civilians and enforce national peace agreements and international treaties. However, these operations have often failed to provide reliable protection and lasting peace, with operational inefficiencies, bureaucratic obstacles, and corruption impeding success.

All these different professional opinions resonate with the will of the Central African people, who do not want the prolongation of MINUSCA’s stay in the country.