BANGUI, Central African Republic, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- On Sunday, the African Union-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic transferred its peacekeeping duties to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the work of MISCA for having "saved and protected many lives, alongside the French Sangaris forces and the European Union Force in the Central African Republic."
According to UNSC Resolution 2149, the new U.N. peacekeeping force (MINUSCA) will be deployed for one year with a maximum of 10,000 military and 1,800 police personnel.
MINUSCA's priorities in CAR will be to protect civilians, support the governmental transition process, facilitate humanitarian assistance deliveries, protect U.N. personnel and facilities, promote and protect human rights, support rule of law, and support disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation efforts.
The peacekeeping transfer comes as the U.S. Embassy in Bangui prepares to reopen after a 21-month closure due to the deteriorating security situation.
In March 2013, the Muslim-backed Séléka group took control of the capital, Bangui, and removed Christian President François Bozizé, leading to more than a year of ethnic and religious violence.
In August, acting Prime Minister Kamoun Mahamat announced the establishment of a new transitional government, garnering praise from the U.S. "as they undertake this vital work to bring peace and security, justice, stability, and prosperity to their country."