Cameroonian commander to lead int'l stabilization mission in Central African Republic

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The presidents of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) have appointed Martin Tchumenta, a Cameroonian army general, as the commander of the African-led International Support Mission for the Central African Republic (MISCA).

Tchumenta's appointment was announced during an extraordinary summit of ECCAS leaders opened Monday in the Chadian capital N'Djamena to evaluate the political, security and humanitarian situation in Central African Republic.

"The regional presidents recommended the deployment of MISCA across Central African Republic's entire national territory, after which the force must start disarmament of the rebel groups. To achieve this objective, they agreed to provide aerial support to MISCA," read the final statement from the N'Djamena extraordinary summit.

The ECCAS leaders agreed to increase the MISCA forces from the current 2,588 to 3,652.

They proposed that the mission's mode of operation should be reformed to ensure stabilization of the security situation across Central African Republic.

MISCA's mandate, according to the provisions of a communique from the African Union's Peace and Security Council, released during its 385th session held on July 19,2013, involves the protection of civilians, restoration of security and public order, stabilization of the country and restoration of state authority, reform of the armed forces and creation of conditions that are ideal for provision of humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable population.

During the meeting, Burundi promised to contribute troops to MISCA, and the ECCAS leaders agreed to equip them and deploy them on the ground n the shortest possible time, while seeking complementary support from the international community. Endi

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