Weapons-free zone established in CAR town

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Peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous announcing at a press conference that the UN has established a weapons-free zone in the town of Bambari in the Central African Republic (CAR). Special Representative in CAR Parfait Onanga-Anyanga is at right. UN Photo/Bitsure Jean-Claude

A weapons-free zone has been established in the town of Bambari in the Central African Republic to protect civilians and allow humanitarian access, the United Nations announced on Tuesday.

Tensions there have increased following the killing of a Muslim moto taxi driver in August, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, MINUSCA.

Fighting between Muslim and Christian communities in the CAR has displaced nearly one million people over the past two years.

Maha Fayek reports from the capital, Bangui.

(French audio: Nous avons pris….)

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous has announced this Tuesday in a press conference in Bangui the establishment of a weapons-free zone in Bambari effective Tuesday, 8 September, 2015, at 17:00 local time.

The decision follows a call on Mr Ladsous by the population of Bambari for further protection against armed groups.

It aims to ensure the free movement and physical integrity of the civilian population, as well as access by humanitarian workers to vulnerable populations.

During his four-day visit to the Central African Republic Ladsous reiterated the support of the UN to the CAR before general elections scheduled in October.

He further emphasized that the role of the UN in the CAR is not to replace the authorities but to assist them in their efforts towards reconstruction and reconciliation.

Mr Ladsous said the protection of civilians remains at the heart of MINUSCA's mandate.

Duration: 1'09"

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