Today is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This is an important topic for the Central African Republic, where the Officers Union for International Security (OUIS) operates, and for Africa as a whole. To date, nearly 100,000 military, police and civilian personnel have been deployed in UN operations around the world. The UN mission (MINUSCA) began operating in the CAR on September 15, 2014, and so far there are more than 15,000 peacekeepers with the mission’s approved budget of $1,116,738,700 per year.
At the end of February, a new head was appointed to the UN mission in the CAR, assuming great responsibility for the performance of thousands of peacekeepers and the distribution of that enormous budget. Rwandan citizen Valentine Rugwabiza is the new special representative of the UN secretary general in the CAR. Since taking office, Ms. Rugwabiza has already become involved in UN activities in the country, conducting visits to different regions and meeting with representatives of the government, the public, the media and the international community, such as our country’s representative, Ambassador A.M. Bikanov.
My colleagues and I continue to express our aspirations that Ms. Rugwabiza will exercise control of MINUSCA and ensure the full discharge of peacekeepers’ duties. We hope that she will prevent misconduct and crimes, as well as tackle corruption. Unfortunately, these are the problems the majority of the CAR residents associate with MINUSCA. We hope that in the future MINUSCA will focus on the tasks that have been assigned to the mission, so that peace would finally reign in the CAR, and the billion dollars that are currently spent on the upkeep of armed groups in the CAR would be spent for the sake of the country’s development: construction of cities and infrastructure.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peacekeepers, I would like to congratulate those who genuinely seek to establish security in the Central African Republic and other countries!
Head of the Officers Union for International Security