UNMAS in CAR contributes to the weapons and ammunition management (WAM) capacity building, which is directly involved in the Restoration of State Authority (RESA) and contributes to MINUSCA’s strategic objective “to support the creation of the political, security and institutional conditions conducive to the sustainable reduction of the presence of, and threat posed by, armed groups through a comprehensive approach and proactive and robust posture without prejudice to the basic principles of peacekeeping” (Security Council Resolution (SCR) 2552 (2020)). Among its priorities, UNMAS in CAR puts a special emphasis on the transfer of knowledge to national colleagues in WAM. Following the first explosive ordnance (EO) incidents in the country in June and July 2020, there is an upsurge of such incidents in the West of the country. From January to September 2021, more than 30 incidents involving EO were reported. UNMAS, in support of MINUSCA Force, provides technical expertise for the coordination of the response to the threat.
2021/22 financial year (1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022)
To support the response to the increased threat posed by the use of Explosive Ordnance (EO) in the country, 22 awareness sessions took place for the benefit of 389 members from different UN Agencies and NGOs to better assess and limit the risks related to EO during their field missions.
59 explosive ordnance risk awareness sessions were provided to 1,558 members of the population including 499 women and 863 children, in Bouar and Boali.
8 Quality Assurance visits of weapons and ammunitions storage facilities were conducted in Bangui with MINUSCA Police and the national authorities.
Since 2014, UNMAS in CAR has carried out the destruction of 246,666 explosive items, including 194 tons of commercial explosives and over 2.3 million items of ammunition. Additionally, 2,730 non-functional or obsolete weapons collected by MINUSCA and 337 collected under the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRR) National Programme have been destroyed.
Since its deployment in the country, the programme conducted the construction/rehabilitation of 56 armories and deployed 14 temporary storage kits for the Central African armed forces. 7 types of WAM training were conducted for a total of 418 members of the national defense and security forces to this date. These trainings aim to reduce the reliance on international expertise in the longer term. Moreover, UNMAS has organized awareness sessions for the discovery of suspicious packages to 94 civil aviation and airport security personnel and provided risk education sessions on threats posed by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) to 575,860 beneficiaries.
The illicit flow of weapons and ammunition undermines the stability and the rule of law in CAR, which slows down progress towards the Restoration of State Authority. The quasi-inexistent weapons and ammunition storage facilities available to the national defense and security forces in some areas of the country, the lack of specific legislation on WAM as well as the volatile security situation threaten the lives of civilians and opportunities for development.
UNMAS was first deployed to CAR in January 2014 following the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2149 (2014), which established the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). UNMAS supports the national authorities in their responsibility of: “addressing the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation, and misuse of small arms and light weapons” and “to ensure the safe and effective management, storage and security of stockpiles of small arms and light weapons and the collection and/or destruction of surplus, seized, unmarked, or illicitly held weapons and ammunition”. The MINUSCA’s mandate was renewed in 2020 with the UN Security Council Resolution 2552.
Protection of Civilians
The development of national capacity in WAM contributes to risk mitigation of theft, looting, access and use of weapons and ammunition outside the official duty; or accidents related to explosions of ammunition stored in poor conditions. In addition, the support provided by UNMAS towards the development of operational capacities of the national defense and security forces in the field of weapons and ammunition destruction contributes to the reduction of their illicit circulation and improves security in CAR. The Programme also provides awareness sessions to UN staff and humanitarian actors on the risks associated with EO, as well as sensitization sessions to the population in CAR on the Bouar-Boali axis.
Support to the Restoration of State Authority and to the NATCOM-SALW
UNMAS strengthens national capacities to enable the CAR authorities to build a professional and permanent national expertise in WAM in the country. UNMAS also provides technical expertise and support to the National Commission for the Fight against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NATCOM-SALW) in the implementation of the National Action Plan to achieve a better control in reducing the illicit flow of SALW.
Support the implementation of the APPR, the National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan, and the Arms embargo
UNMAS supports the national government in the implementation of the National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan and the ‘Accord Politique pour la Paix et Réconciliation en RCA’ (APPR) through the provision of technical expertise on WAM to the national authorities, whilst supporting the deployment of national armed forces, in addition to the support to the deployment of the Special Mixed Security Units. UNMAS also supports the Sanctions Committee and the Panel of Experts, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2588 (2021) on the Arms Embargo in CAR.
In addition to funding received from MINUSCA, UNMAS is grateful to its donors, including the European Union as well as the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Considering the national priorities, the Restoration of State Authority, national reconciliation, as well as security and peace consolidation initiatives, UNMAS continues to seek additional funds to support the deployment of defense and security forces as per the Central African National Defense Plan (2019) and the National Authorities Orientation document (2017) and the Global Plan for Resizing and Redeployment of the Internal Security Forces (2018). Additionally, CAR would benefit from additional support for the implementation of the National Action Plan by the NATCOM-SALW, as well as the awareness activities and the prevention of armed violence.
Data as of September 2021