by Maxim Minaev
Earlier, the UN Security Council expressed its strong condemnation of the violations of the peace agreement in the Central African Republic (CAR) and called on all actors to urgently end hostilities.
Russia hopes that the UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) will play a key role in guaranteeing safety at the upcoming election, scheduled for Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Sputnik.
Russia is concerned over the attempts to “forcefully intervene in the constitutional process” and “undermine the vote” by ex-CAR President Francois Bozize, the diplomat stressed.
“We expect the UN mission to play a role. We all hope that this peacekeeping mission, which was coordinated by the UN Security Council, will play a key role in guaranteeing normal and safe conditions for holding the election,” Bogdanov said.
The diplomat stressed that the Russian servicemen present in the CAR are not engaged in combat operations, as the country is in full compliance with the UNSC demands.
According to Bogdanov, the Russian Defense Ministry’s office in the CAR is comprised of only four or five people, and “their presence is purely political”. There are also some military instructors present, and on top of that, “13-14 Russian officers” are part of the UN mission, Bogdanov continued.
Russia is ready to consider a possible military assistance request by the Central African Republic (CAR) government amid escalating tensions there, but only if the request is in line with resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Mikhail Bogdanov said.
“If we receive such a request from the legitimate authorities. They can submit a request not only to us but to other partners and friends as well,” Bogdanov said, when asked if Russia could send servicemen to CAR if issued a relevant request.
“We should see to which extent this is in line with the UNSC demand, as the UNSC should be at least put wise about some issues,” the diplomat continued.
Last week, the CAR authorities accused Bozize, who served as the country’s head of state from 2003-2013 and was overthrown in a military uprising, of plotting a coup d’etat amid the escalation of internal tensions ahead of the national elections scheduled for 27 December. The authorities were alerted by the coalition created by rebel groups to thwart the voting. Bozize, however, denied accusations of being privy to the group’s actions. The politician’s candidacy for the upcoming presidential election has already been rejected by the country’s top court, as he has been under an international arrest warrant since 2013.