Reacting to the latest flare-up of clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR), United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for an immediate end to the violence and urged support for an international force planned for the country.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of any attempt to take power by force of arms and calls on the insurgents to lay down their weapons,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement voicing deep concern about the armed confrontation which broke out last Friday between insurgents loyal to the former Chief of Staff and CAR government forces.
The Secretary-General called on the international community “to provide urgently the logistical and other assistance” needed to deploy to the CAR the Inter-African Observation Force agreed to by the leaders of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States at their summit earlier this month in Gabon, the spokesman said.
Set to be comprised of 300 to 350 troops, the Force will draw troops from Gabon, Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Mali. Its three main tasks are ensuring the safety of the CAR’s President, participating in the restructuring of the country’s armed forces, and ensuring security on the border with Chad.