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 ICC Note: The United Nation has already agreed in principle to deploy a peacekeeping force to the Central African Republic, where the majority Christian community has been ravaged by groups of armed Islamists. However, CAR’s rapid disintegration as a state has generated apprehension that such a force may not arrive in time. The UN is now considering drawing from forces already in to the region in order to establish a presence more quickly. If they are able to do so, it would be a blessing to the hundreds of thousands of Christians there facing violent persecution each day.
11/18/2013 Central African Republic (Reuters) – The United Nations is preparing to possibly deploy peacekeepers to Central African Republic, but if the crisis there worsens quickly before such a force is ready, it could redeploy troops from nearby U.N. missions, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.
The landlocked, mineral-rich nation of 4.6 million people has slipped into chaos since northern Seleka rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March and ousted President Francois Bozize. Rights groups say both sides may have committed war crimes.
There is currently a 2,500-strong regional peacekeeping force in Central African Republic that was deployed by the Economic Community of Central African States. Ban said the African Union is due to take charge of that force in December and boost its size to 3,600 troops.
Ban said the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States have signaled their support for eventually transforming the African Union force into a U.N. peacekeeping operation, but not in the immediate future as they want a chance to try and combat the crisis first.
“I have instructed the (U.N.) Secretariat to prepare plans accordingly, pending a decision of the Security Council,” Ban wrote in a report to the 15-member U.N. Security Council.
“Should there be a precipitous deterioration in the situation in the Central African Republic, the United Nations could also respond on an emergency basis, once authorized by the Security Council and the relevant troop-contributing countries, by drawing on assets as well as troops from neighboring peacekeeping missions,” he said.
Central African Republic is rich in gold, diamonds and uranium, but decades of instability and the spillover from conflicts in its larger neighbors have left the country mired in cycles of crises.
Senior U.N. officials have warned that Central African Republic is at risk of spiraling into genocide, as armed groups incite Christians and Muslims against each other in the virtually lawless country.

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