Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham discusses the limited resources available to the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic with IPS News Agency:
There are growing concerns that the massive funding crisis for peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic (CAR) will jeopardise any prospect of restoring stability to the country.
“The resources being allocated to the crisis are so inadequate to the task. The notion that a few thousand troops – even if they were well-trained and equipped, which is true for the French and some, but certainly not all, of the African contingents – are enough to provide security for an area larger than France itself is risible at best,” Peter Pham, director of the Africa Centre at the Atlantic Council, a research institute for U.S. and European policy approaches to Africa, told IPS.
As peacekeepers in CAR recaptured the key town of Sibut from rebel fighters on Feb. 2, donor countries made a 315-million-dollar pledge to boost peacekeeping operations in the conflict-ridden country. But this response from the international community has been criticised for being tardy and insufficient to adequately equip the fledgling African Union (AU) mission and fill a security vacuum that has caused 2,000 deaths.
“That’s why the forces have largely limited their activities to Bangui, the country’s capital, and one or two other centres while the countryside has largely been left unsecured,” Pham said.