C. Africa political situation worsens: UN envoy

Posted at 06/25/14 7:26 AM

UNITED NATIONS - Political conditions in the Central African Republic have worsened significantly in the past month, the special UN envoy for the country warned Tuesday.

"The political situation has deteriorated noticeably over the past month," Babacar Gaye, head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic, told the UN Security Council.

"The continued insecurity created by the various armed groups is improving too slowly to satisfy the population," he explained via videoconference from Bangui.

"This has led to growing criticism about the inability of the transitional government to deliver on security, which risks undermining its authority," Gaye added.

He said deep distrust among political parties "does not bode well for the holding of credible elections early next year."

Disarmament and an inclusive political dialogue are essential steps to achieving lasting security, he said, arguing for boosting the ranks of the African peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MISCA, a 6,000-strong force which is trying to contain the crisis along with about 2,000 French troops.

MISCA is to be gradually replaced by a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force from September.

Deeply impoverished Central African Republic has been in crisis since the mainly Muslim Seleka alliance seized power in a March 2013 coup led by Michel Djotodia.

Splinter groups of Seleka rebels went rogue, embarking on a campaign of killing, raping and looting.

The abuses prompted members of the Christian majority to form vigilante "anti-balaka" groups, unleashing a wave of tit-for-tat killings that has left thousands dead and close to a million displaced.