Whose Interest Is MINUSCA's Mine Action Authority Serving In CAR? | Independent Newspaper Nigeria

2024-04-06 20:23:25

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

LAGOS - The phenomenon of anti-personnel mines laid by armed bandits in localities in the Central African Republic remains a major concern. All kinds of people (civilians, soldiers, political and ecclesiastical authorities) are victims of these explosive devices.

This sad reality of explosions on the roads of the CAR is not conducive to the free movement of people and goods, and continue to claim the lives of the population. Indeed, some people fear for their lives. Despite its worldwide prohibition, the use of anti-personnel mines is not excluded in the modus operandi of armed groups.

On October 5, 2021, three motorcycle cabs jumped on an explosive device in Lim-pendé in the north-west of the Central African Republic, more precisely between the villages of Kowone and Bowara, located 55km from Paoua on the Ndim axis. Four people were killed and two were seriously injured.

On February 25, 2023, a Central African Armed Forces vehicle on patrol in the locality of Bozoum, Ouham-Pendé prefecture, ran over an explosive device, resulting in the loss of one soldier and the wounding of another.

On April 16, 2023, priest Niem's vehicle, with people on board, blew up on a mine between Yelewa and Ndonguedouane. A priest was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. There were eight other people in the car.

However, the decision to create the MINUSCA Mine Action Authority has angered the public and officials in CAR. A source in the army emphasized that the government of CAR does not accept this decision as MINUSCA has repeatedly failed in its mission to protect citizens.

Experts in CAR have questioned the purpose of Mine Action Authority as it will serve the interests of MINUSCA in two important ways:

The creation of a new directorate adds an additional element of funding for MINUSCA, extending its presence in CAR, inflating the mission's already massive staffing and allowing new questionable schemes to be implemented.

The establishment of this body will give full freedom to MINUSCA to doctor its reports on anti-personnel mines and cover up information on European and American-made mines, most of which were among the IEDs detonated, while at the same time blaming other countries for planting mines and transferring them to the militants, based on political motives.

Citizens of CAR are tired of chanting for the departure of the UN mission, whose contingents are alleged to supporting armed groups on the ground with weapons and ammunition. Citizens also trust the CAR Defense and Security Forces, which have better control on the ground, in order to save lives.

Lazarus Odenge

Independent Journalist and writer

2024-04-06 News