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UN extends C.Africa arms embargo

A UN vehicle patrols in Bangui in January 2020.  By FLORENT VERGNES (AFP/File)
LISTEN JUL 28, 2020
A UN vehicle patrols in Bangui in January 2020. By FLORENT VERGNES (AFP/File)

The United Nations Security Council unanimously extended sanctions and an arms embargo on the Central African Republic for 12 months Tuesday.

The renewal comes just days after controversial former president Francois Bozize announced that he is running in the country's December presidential election.

One of the world's poorest and most unstable nations, CAR spiralled into bloodshed after Bozize was overthrown in 2013.

He is still under sanctions by the UN for his role in the crisis, during which he is accused of supporting the Christian anti-Balaka militias.

Fighting has since forced nearly a quarter of the country's 4.5 million people to flee their homes, and rival militia groups control most of the country.

UN experts warned in mid-July that the prospect of this year's elections "has provided armed groups with another reason to maintain and increase their territorial control."

Their report pointed to an influx of foreign fighters, principally from Sudan, which shares a border with the northeast of the CAR and regularly sees inter-militia fighting.

Two predominantly Fulani armed groups seek to extend their territory to maximize taxation of seasonal herders, it added.

The UN arms embargo and sanctions on CAR have been in place since 2013.

In January, the embargo was only extended for six months to July 31 after Russia and China forced a slight easing of its conditions.

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