CAR peacekeepers struggle to quell violence

Jan. 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM

BANGUI, Central African Republic, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Some of the peacekeepers deployed in Central African Republic lack the training and equipment needed to quell some of the violence, a rights monitor said.

The United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Networks reported Tuesday its reporters were on hand to witness the killing of two men on a public street near the CAR capital Bangui during the weekend. IRIN reported the slayings took place in full view of members of a French unit deployed to support an African Union peacekeeping mission in CAR.

Thierry Vircoulon, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, told IRIN some of the peacekeepers deployed in the country "are not equipped to do crowd management" or other types of security meant to control that type of public violence.

Seleka, a Sunni rebel coalition, toppled the CAR government March. The conflict took on a religious tone with members of the Christian anti-balaka militia took up arms against Seleka.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday interim CAR President Catherine Samba-Panza was the right person to lead the country away from a violent past.

The interim leader, Bangui's former mayor, replaces President Michel Djotodia, a Seleka rebel leader who agreed to resign earlier this month.

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