UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Visit Central African Republic Amid

Rabat – As violence has greatly escalated between Muslim and Christian militias in the Central African Republic, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is expected to pay a visit to the country on October 24, reported AFP.The UN chief said in an interview with AFP and Radio France International that his visit is a “gesture of solidarity with the peacekeepers working in one of the most dangerous environments.”Guterres’ visit to the Central African Republic will be his first as part of a peacekeeping mission after taking office in January 1. However, the Secretary General repeatedly visited the country as former head of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The visit, which will coincide with United Nations Day, comes at a time when the UN is facing anunstable financial situation as the United States pushes for cost-cutting in its peacekeeping programs.Guterres has said that US President Donald Trump’s proposed measures would create an “unsolvable problem” for the international body.UN in CARThe UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)  has maintained over 12,500 troops and police in the country’s hotspots since September 2014.MINUSCAis intended tohelp protect noncombatants and offer support to the government of CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera following concerns over the country’s “security, humanitarian, human rights, and political crisis.”Morocco is one of the many countries that contributed peacekeepers to help bring stability in the conflict-stricken nation, and has called for a surge in the number of peacekeepers in the area.In September, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, warned against the rise of conflict in the African country and the “ethnic and religious nature” of the ongoing violence in Bangassou during a meeting held in New York at the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).The minister also lauded MINUSCA’s performance on the ground, paying a special tribute to all peacekeepers, including the Moroccan officers, who perished while on duty.In July, three Moroccan blue helmets were killed by armed men belonging to to the Anti-Balaka militia. To date, eight Moroccan peacekeepers have died in the Central African Republic since 2015.

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