Bangui, 23 February 2014: The African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) deplores the manner in which the security situation in the city of Bossangoua has been depicted in the media. In an article dated 21 February 2014, AFP claimed that the Muslim community living in Bossangoua was abandoned without any protection.
In response to the media reports, MISCA wishes to provide the following clarifications:
i) the city of Bossangoua was divided into two sectors, one under the control of MISCA and the other under the control of the Sangaris operation, respectively, in accordance with a joint operation mechanism put in place by both forces. Once the Sangaris forces liberated and secured their sector, they headed to their next assignment;
ii) subsequently, MISCA took over control of the sector liberated by the Sangaris, with the deployment of elements of the Chadian contingent of the Mission ;
iii) to date, the town has been freed from armed groups and criminals who were causing mayhem to the local population. MISCA’s troops conduct regular patrols, protect key infrastructure in the town, and have successfully started the cantonment process of the ex-Seleka.
The MISCA Force Commander, Brigadier General Tumenta Chomu Martin, will shortly visit the sector to assess progress made thus far and advise the sector commanders on the way forward in relation to the finalization of the cantonment of the ex-Seleka.
Following the transfer of authority, on 19 December 2013, MISCA moved quickly to reach its authorized strength of six thousand military and police personnel. In accordance with MISCA’s deployment plan, two thousand troops and police personnel are deployed in Bangui, while four thousand troops are deployed in other locations.
Thanks to MISCA’s efforts, with the support of Sangaris, the situation in Bangui has improved significantly. Improvements have also been recorded in the countryside. Aware of the continued security challenges on the ground, as illustrated, among others, by the cowardly killing of three civilians yesterday in Bangui, MISCA will continue to intensify its efforts to further stabilize the situation, enhance civilian protection and create conditions conducive to the successful completion of the current political transition.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Eloi Yao, Senior Public Information Officer/Spokesperson
Mobile: +236 7007 4128