UN Peacekeeper Killed in Attack: Central African Republic
One United Nations peacekeeper was killed and another injured in an attack by armed elements in the Central African Republic. The Secretary-General strongly condemned the attack on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) near Bangui.
"The Secretary-General recalls that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime," said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. "He calls on the Central African Republic authorities to take all the necessary measures to ensure accountability for these heinous attacks."
The attack followed elections in the country. Three other UN peacekeepers were killed in attacks last month.
Braving the threat of violence from armed groups, Central Africans went to the polls to exercise their right to vote.
The United Nations welcomed the elections despite taking losses when three of its peacekeepers were killed in an attack on Christmas Day.
To reinforce its operations during the electoral process, the United Nations temporarily dispatched additional peacekeepers from neighboring missions to MINUSCA, the UN Peace Operation in the Central African Republic.
Among the almost 2 million registered voters, nearly half are women.
The partial results of the legislative and presidential elections are expected on 4 January 2021. Voting began in presidential and legislative elections in the Central African Republic on Sunday, in a key test for one of the world's most troubled nations. Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, is a city divided, clear lines between Muslim and Christian neighbourhoods.
The country itself is hostage to the violence of fourteen armed groups competing for control of the territory and its resources since conflict spread through it at the end of 2012 with a rebellion by the Seleka coalition.
The armed conflict has caused thousands of deaths and forces two-thirds of the population to flee, within the borders of the state or in neighbouring countries.
In the midst of this instability and fear, one man is betting on peace. Anatole Yenguete, 28, lives in the Fatima neighbourhood, the sixth arrondissement of Bangui. In his judo gym, he welcomes young athletes of all faiths: "We train together and on the mat, every difference disappears. Here, inside the gym, we come back to being individuals, athletes and human beings. We stand together by the love for this sport and the ambition to win some medals in international competitions''.
Month by month, Anatole's message has spread from his Christian neighbourhood to neighbouring Muslim ones.
Judo was not just about sport, but also a work of reconciliation among athletes: "If at the beginning we met hostility and distrust, today there are many more people who approach us interested in our message of reconciliation. Judo has taught us courage and ethics. To defeat the crisis in which our country has sunk, both are needed".
A film by: Davide Lemmi, Marco Simoncelli, Ugo Lucio Borga
Fixer: Aymard Yangala
Translators: Etienne Kotto-wawe, Elianna Baldi
Production support: Association Six Degrees, Association Kaadar frame
Production Partner: FADAcollective
Logistic support: Associazione Amici per il Centrafrica
Editor: Ala Alhussan
Producer: Ala Alhussan
Executive Producer: Andrew Phillips
Message Ala Alhussan As part of efforts to address sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel, the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) teamed up with the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Family and Child protection and local civil society groups to raise awareness in communities at risk. These include people who make ends meet through transactional sex. Participants aged 16 to 45 were able to understand the possibilities of redress for victims or witnesses of acts of sexual exploitation or abuse. Any form of transactional sex is strictly prohibited for United Nations personnel.