Regional security under threat in Central Africa

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The displacement site in Batangafo, Central African Republic, is overcrowded with more than 30,000 people and daily receiving hundreds of people driven from their homes by violence. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group in Central Africa, continues to pose a threat to regional security particularly to populations in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo according to the United Nations.

The UN Security Council adopted a statement on Thursday condemning what it called "appalling attacks", including those that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It also expressed its concern at the continued terrorist activities perpetrated by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Central Africa remains plagued by cross-border criminal activities including the illicit trade in wildlife used to support the activities of armed groups such as the LRA, according to the Head of the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

Abdoulaye Bathily was updating the Security Council on threats to peace and security in the Central African region.

He said that since his last report in November 2014, the situation has remained worrying.

"Central Africa entered an electoral cycle ending in 2018. Political tensions in the run-up to elections are on the rise in some countries. Issues related to amending constitutional term limits are dividing electorates. Violent confrontations have led to the loss of lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Social grievances are percolating, exacerbated by the economic contraction in the sub-region’s many oil-producing States."

Mr Bathily added that despite the many challenges they face, Central African leaders have undertaken important initiatives in the interest of their populations.

At the beginning of May, Heads of State of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa decided to implement the free movement of peoples in the six countries of the zone.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’18″

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