Russia ready to send up to 30 peacekeepers to Central African Republic

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MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Defense Ministry to inform the UN Secretariat that Russia is ready to send up to 30 Russian servicemen to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and up to 5 members of the military to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the presidential order published on the legal data portal informs.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry will inform the UN Secretariat of Russia’s readiness to send up to 30 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic as liaison officers, military observers and staff officers,” the document states.

The document also entrusts the Russian Foreign Ministry with informing the UN Secretariat of “Russia’s readiness to send up to 5 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus as liaison officers, military observers and staff officers,” the presidential order informs.

UN mission in CAR

The Central African Republic (CAR) gained notoriety over numerous coups d’etat and armed conflicts. The domestic political situation deteriorated in 2013 when the Seleka coalition, consisting predominantly of Muslims from the north, took control of Bangui, toppling President Francois Bozize. In response to the militants’ atrocities, Christians and followers of traditional African religions set up Anti-balaka militia groups, which started pursuing Muslims.

In September 2014, MINUSCA was established, consisting of over 12,500 troops and police officers. However, clashes continue in the country, in which civilians and peacekeepers are killed.

Situation in Cyprus

Cyprus remains divided into two parts since 1974. Turkey acts as guarantor for Northern Cyprus, while the island’s southern part remains under the control of the Republic of Cyprus. UN-sponsored inter-communal talks have been going on for years. The most recent round of talks took place in Switzerland in the summer of 2017. The talks involved Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and representatives of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey, as well as the European Union, which acted as an observer.

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