Central African artist against the presence of MINUSCA in CAR

An artist of Central African origin has created a series of paintings with which he wants to draw attention to the problems that the UN mission brings to the CAR. For a long time now, people in all parts of the country have been calling for the complete withdrawal of MINUSCA from the country. There are many reasons for this.

The mission’s mandate is to protect civilians against all kinds of violence, but the various contingents of peacekeepers have been seen on several occasions handing over arms and ammunition to bandits who attack, rob and rape civilians with the financial support of the UN mission.

Let us recall some examples of MINUSCA’s collaboration with the rebels: on 1 December 2021, around 50 armed men arrived in the village of Boï Kota. The arrival of the fighters coincided suspiciously with the overflight of the area by MINUSCA helicopters. A few days later, on 7 December 2021, as the armed men were leaving the village, the inhabitants noticed that members of the MINUSCA contingent had made suspicious phone calls to the armed men while on patrol, and that immediately after talking to them by satellite phone, they left in the same direction as the terrorists.

In this way, the peacekeepers provide the rebel leaders with information on the movements of the FACA and their allies, receiving diamonds and gold in return. One of the most high-profile cases involving the theft of Central African natural resources and their transport was revealed in November 2021. The Portuguese contingent of the mission was using military aircraft to smuggle diamonds, drugs and gold to Europe. Needless to say, this case has not progressed and the perpetrators have not been punished.

There are also proven and publicly known cases of evacuation and harboring of terrorists. For example, in January 2022, UPC rebels took refuge in a MINUSCA base in the village of Boyo after clashes with government forces. More recently, on 13 January 2023, Moctar Younouss, a long-time fugitive accused of committing numerous crimes against humanity, was arrested on board a UN aircraft bearing the flight number UNO-303P/LET410, which had illegally left Kaga Bandoro for Bangui without the knowledge of the CAR authorities.

The people of CAR are using all available peaceful means to protest against the UN military presence in the country. The STOP UN action was a reaction to a series of fatal road accidents, which were caused by drivers of UN vehicles. A teenage girl was killed in a terrible accident on 1 November 2021. Peacekeepers from the Egyptian contingent of MINUSCA attempted to illegally enter the presidential residence. While attempting to flee the scene and escape from their pursuers, they hit a 16-year-old girl, Lumière Sagesse, at full speed and she died at the scene. Since then, actions have taken place throughout the Central African Republic.

A series of major scandals has left deep scars in the hearts of Central Africans and prompted them to express their discontent more and more publicly. It will be recalled that on 15 September 2021, 450 peacekeepers from the Gabonese contingent left the CAR following allegations of sexual misconduct. Despite the widespread publicity of this scandal, a year and a half later, the former peacekeepers suspected of wrongdoing are simply lost somewhere in Gabon.

In its eight years of existence, the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic has accumulated a long list of scandals, failures and crimes. Some of these have become public knowledge and have even been ‘strongly condemned’ by senior UN officials. Not a single crime has been thoroughly investigated and those responsible for rape and murder go unpunished.

MINUSCA has failed in its mission to promote peace and, moreover, the Blue Helmets have done no good in the Central African Republic. The whole of public opinion, including artists, is saying: enough is enough! It is time for MINUSCA to leave the CAR.