UN to send 300 Senegalese troops to Central African Republic

The UN will soon send 300 Senegalese troops from its rapid-reaction force to the Central African Republic (CAR) to beef up security ahead of elections next month.

The Security Council on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) approved the two-month redeployment ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the troubled CAR on November 29-30 and the nationwide vote scheduled for December 27.

The Senegalese soldiers are serving in the UN mission in Ivory Coast, but will be sent to CAR in the coming days, said UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.

“By providing more peacekeepers including to assist with security for the Pope’s visit at the end of November, this will help protect civilians and, with the pope, further encourage dialogue and reconciliation ahead of elections,” said British Deputy UN Ambassador Peter Wilson, whose country chairs the council this month.