The security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) deteriorated in 2013. Large quantities of weapons, obsolete ammunition, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and small ammunition are continuously circulating in the country. Armed groups such as Ex-Séléka and Anti-Balaka seized these weapons and they were dispersed throughout the civilian population. Adding to the humanitarian and security risk is the existence of large quantities of ammunition in inappropriate storage facilities around the capital, Bangui.
Poor storage conditions, non-existent ammunition management and a lack of physical security place civilians and local infrastructure at risk. At the request of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in CAR (BINUCA) and national authorities, UNMAS deployed to CAR in January 2014. Shortly thereafter, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2149 (2014), establishing the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which assigned UNMAS the task of restoring a safer humanitarian environment. mandate was renewed under resolution 2301 (2016).
To support the MINUSCA’s mandate working under the pillar of the Protection of Civilians, UNMAS performs the following tasks:
Inspecting and removing ERW in populated areas and around UN sites while enhancing humanitarian access. The programme trains civilian and military MINUSCA’s components on the risks related to ERW and IEDs. Finally, UNMAS provides risk education and explosive awareness to the civilian population and to national security forces.
UNMAS implements a weapons and ammunition management framework by supporting and planning weapons and ammunition storage. Such is complemented by developing a country-wide stockpile management capacity in addition to assessing weapons management structures in prisons with MINUSCA’s Justice & Corrections section. UNMAS also facilitates the delivery of technical assistance to the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
In support of DDR initiatives following the government national action plan, UNMAS provides direct support to the DDR/R process with regards to the disposal of unsafe weapons and ammunition collected during DDR in addition to safe weapons and ammunition storage expertise, to prevent the recirculation of weapons within communities. UNMAS stands in support to S/RES/2339 (2017) renewing the Armed Embargo and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the CAR Sanctions Committee.
UNMAS CAR is funded by the MINUSCA’s assessed budget until June 2017. The programme has identified a funding gap of $ 4,536,676 to implement an armoury project mandated by the Sanctions Committee in the 16 prefectures of the country and will seek funding through the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action.
Updated: March 2017