“I am very concerned about the situation in the Central African Republic. The presence of a robust international peacekeeping mission is vital to protect the sorely tried civilian population and ensure that humanitarian actors can do their work,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The Norwegian contribution was announced at a donor conference arranged by the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa on 1 February. The funds will be used to support the civilian component of the AU mission – the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). The UN Security Council has given MISCA a mandate to protect the civilian population and help to stabilise the country. The mission consists of a military force of around 5 300 troops in addition to a civilian component made up of police officers and other civilian personnel.
“Norway wishes to support the AU in its efforts to deal with conflicts in its own region. Our support to MISCA is an important contribution to this end,” said Mr Brende. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently appealed to the international community to intensify efforts in the Central African Republic (CAR). The security and humanitarian situation is dire. The civilian population is being subjected to widespread violence, and law and order has virtually broken down in large parts of the country. The local population and those who have fled their homes are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. On 28 January, the UN Security Council approved the deployment of an EU force to strengthen the international stabilisation effort. In addition to the AU and EU forces, French troops are also engaged in this effort.
Norway has previously increased its humanitarian support for CAR. Last year, the country received NOK 58.3 million for humanitarian efforts. Further contributions to the emergency relief efforts are under consideration. "I am also concerned about the regional consequences of the crisis, particularly in the light of the situation across the border in South Sudan. There is a danger that the lawlessness we are seeing in CAR could turn it into a haven for extremists, armed groups and international organised criminals, thus increasing instability in the region," Mr Brende said.