Central African Republic: Mauritanian contingent threatens residents of Ngakobo with violence in case MINUSCA leaves the area

The Mauritanian contingent of MINUSCA directly threatens the inhabitants of the village of Ngakobo, which located on the regional road RR13 57 km south of Bambari, telling locals that if MINUSCA leaves the village, it will be immediately captured by Ali Darassa’s UPC militants.

Also, representatives of the Mauritanian contingent of MINUSCA began to call on the local population of Ngakobo to come to the demonstration to demand from authorities to keep the Mauritanian contingent in Ngakobo. If this does not happen, they promise that the armed groups will enter the town in 48 hours after UN forces leave it. This ultimatum addressed to the local population scared the people of Ngakobo, who are tired of Mauritanian contingent vigilante justice.

The news of the withdrawal of the Mauritanian contingent follows several inquiries from the local population, who have repeatedly witnessed violations of the UN mandate by this contingent. It should be noted that there was no official notification to the Central African security forces by the Head of MINUSCA, Valentine Rugwabiza. It seems that the MINUSCA leaders do not control its individual contingents, thus leading to some of the contingents perpetually violating the mandate and bringing to disgrace the whole peacekeeping mission.

The Mauritanian contingent of MINUSCA is often mentioned in the media in the light of accusations of illegal actions that do not meet the standards of the UN mandate. The Mauritanians work closely with the UPC rebels and personally with Ali Darassa. The exchange of arms, ammunition and food for diamonds and gold has become commonplace for the Mauritanian MINUSCA contingent.

Local sources report that the following trading system is often used between Mauritanians and UPC armed group elements: UN patrol leaves its base, in the dead of night in most cases; then the car, loaded with arms and ammunition, medicine and provisions “unexpectedly” breaks down in the areas close to armed groups rebels. The peacekeepers have no other option but to safely leave the area on foot, to come back to an empty car in the morning.

The whole situation with the Mauritanian contingent is quite distressing for the local population. Their cooperation with UPC’s armed bandits prolong the instability in the area. Now, when the population was ready to breathe freely again, they are threatened by the peacekeeping forces with new cycle of violence.