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Hyped-up contact group meeting on CAR

Central African Republic risks spiraling into genocide, as international community dithers on action.
Last modified: 8 Nov 2013 22:37

The contact group meeting in Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, was hyped as an event that would mobilise the international community into action.

It is deeply disappointing for many observers that there is only one African head of State here.

The President of Congo Brazzaville, Dennis Sasso N'guesso, who is also one of the key mediators in the discussions.

What one keeps hearing from everyone here is that "something needs to be done".

The UN warned just a few days ago that Central African Republic risks spiraling into genocide.

The big question now is exactly what that something is?

N'guesso told me that the African Union must take lead, and the UN should then follow. Congo Brazzaville, Chad, and Gabon want an African force to be boosted in number, and to be given time to help bring security.

However, there is a sense at the highest levels of the UN that a blue helmet peacekeeping force would be better placed to run a complicated mission.

A diplomatic source in Bangui told me that one of the solutions under serious consideration for CAR is what's known as a UN "executive mandate".

The last time the UN issued such a mandate was in Kosovo and East Timor.

It would give the UN the power to run key parts of the state, for example, the military, the police, and the justice system.

This would be deeply unpopular move for Central African President Michel Djotodia, who sees himself as the nation's only hope.

Even though he has admitted to Al Jazeera that he has no control over some of the rebel who helped bring him to power in March.