US to Support Peacekeepers in CAR

But not like it did when French forces intervened in Mali in January.

Today, the US Department of State issued a statement in which it detailed the planned US support to African Union and French forces in Central African Republic.  Here is the text of the release:

The United States commends yesterday’s actions by French military forces, in coordination with regional forces, to begin the process of restoring security to the people of the Central African Republic (CAR). We believe that France’s strong leadership in committing 800 additional troops and their support to the African Union-led stabilization mission in the CAR (MISCA) sends a forceful message to all parties that the violence must end.

We are deeply concerned by the worsening violence in the CAR, which has resulted in a growing humanitarian crisis and increased the risk of mass atrocities. Yesterday, we voted in favor and co-sponsored the UN Security Council’s strong resolution that gives MISCA, and French forces in support of MISCA, Chapter VII authority to restore security and bring peace to a people that have suffered for too long. We intend to provide $40 million in equipment, training, and/or logistical support to MISCA to strengthen its capacity to implement this mandate, and stand ready to assist our African Union partners and French allies as the need arises.

This follows from yesterday’s daily press briefing at State, where Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the United States would not be providing support akin to that given to the French in Mali, nor were their any plans currently to provide such support.  In addition, Harf said that the US currently favored the continued operation of the African-led  International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) over a UN peacekeeping force.  When asked why this was the case, Harf told the press corps “I’m happy to see if there’s more information on why we feel that way.”

Following the launch of France’s Operation Serval in Mali in January, the US launched Operation Juniper Micron to support the rapid deployment of French forces into the country.  This support had continued into the fall, but as of October, the US said it had not received any request for additional support.  The French, however, had prepared for increased intervention in CAR by deploying additional forces to neighboring Cameroon.  These forces promptly moved into CAR following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2127 yesterday.

One response to “US to Support Peacekeepers in CAR

  1. Pingback: CAR Latest-France Cuts Forces in Mali as CAR Escalates |

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