ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission and Head of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), Gen. Jean Marie Michel Mokoko, has extended the profound appreciation of the AU to the American Government for the political, diplomatic and logistical support it has extended to MISCA since the Mission was launched on 19 December 2013. The Special Representative was speaking in Bangui, on 9 April 2014, at a ceremony during which the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Samantha Power, handed over 37 vehicles donated by the USA to MISCA.
The US Envoy lauded the work done by MISCA in the CAR, with the support of the French Operation Sangaris, and encouraged the Mission to continue discharging its mandate despite the challenging environment on the ground. She paid tribute to the 22 MISCA and 3 Sangaris peacekeepers who have died in the CAR, adding that if the world had learned anything from the Rwanda Genocide 20 years ago, it was that the price of a delayed response to mass violence is always greater than the cost of prompt action. She added: “The world has not hesitated in the Car as it did in Rwanda 20 years ago. However, it is obvious that the world has not done enough. Without the presence of MISCA and Sangaris forces protecting civilians and disarming militias in the CAR, the situation would be far worse. MISCA and Sangaris are playing an important role in reminding humanity about how much we all have in common. Therefore, I commend you for your service and urge you to persevere, despite the challenges”.
Besides donating these 37 vehicles, the United States has provided deployment airlift assistance to two MISCA battalions, 100 radios to facilitate command and control, and promised 200 more vehicles. Ambassador Power stated that a strong MISCA constitutes a firm foundation for the envisaged UN stabilization mission in the Car. She called on the other partners to fulfill the pledges made at the Donors’ Conference held in Addis Ababa, on 1 February 2014.
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