UN Security Council extends CAR arms embargo by a year

The UN Security Council has extended by one year an arms embargo against the Central African Republic.

The vote took place on Thursday in New York among the 15 council members, with 14 votes in favour and an abstention by China.

France‘s ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere said the move was important as the situation in CAR was “deteriorating”.

The Russian representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya however noted the UN’s efforts to “ease the burden of sanctions”, including on mortars.

The representative said that the state has “every reason” to demand a complete lifting of the embargo, as non-state actors can smuggle weapons.

China abstained in the vote because it believes the measures should be removed. Its deputy ambassador to the UN, Dai Bing, said the embargo had increasingly hampered “CAR government’s efforts to strengthen its security capabilities”.

The Security Council imposed the arms embargo against the country in December 2013 when mainly Muslim Selaka rebels ousted then President Francois Bozize, prompting reprisals from mostly Christian militias.

A targeted sanctions regime was agreed in 2014, when UN peacekeepers were also deployed to the country.

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