Portugal will deploy six Pandur II 8×8 armoured vehicles and an additional 45 troops to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). The planned deployment will provide additional mobility and protection for the MINUSCA’s contingent.
The U.S. military in Africa has taken steps to increase the security of troops on the ground, adding armed drones and armored vehicles
As of now, no date has been set for the deployment however, plans are underway to deploy the vehicles with the fourth rotation of troops later this year.
The wheeled armoured personnel carrier Pandur II 8×8 was designed by Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug GmbH, Austria.
Central African Republic (CAR) was relatively calm after Faustin-Archange Touadera was sworn in as president in March 2016 and immediately promised to make it “a united country, a country of peace, a country [of] development.” But violence returned not long after, and fighting has continued to the present. With CAR facing an escalating conflict, and with very little backing from the West, Russia saw an opportunity and stepped in with a promise to deliver 5,200 rifles and a variety of other light weapons by the end of 2018. Today, a Russian serves as Touadera’s security adviser and at least 40 Russians are in his presidential guard. Contractors from Wagner are scattered at several locations around the impoverished nation.
Wagner is a private Russian military firm with links to the Kremlin and to the military intelligence agency known as the GRU. Its involvement in the Central African Republic is believed to have begun in January this year, when Russia began shipping arms to CAR along with five active duty military and 170 civilian instructors, many of whom presumably are ex-Russian military, to train two army battalions. It had won an exemption to a United Nations arms embargo in order to contribute small arms and ammunition to the country’s chronically weak military, which needed help to keep very determined rebel groups at bay.
U.S. Assistance to Central African Republic
C.A.R. ranks 188 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Over the past two years, the United States has provided over $300 million of humanitarian, development, and security assistance in support of the C.A.R. people’s efforts to find long-term stability and peace. Significant portions of the country’s territory remain outside state control and are ungoverned, with the presence of multiple armed actors creating insecurity in much of the country. The United States has provided assistance to strengthen the UN mission and humanitarian aid to address the continuing humanitarian crisis in C.A.R.
[ March 21 2017 Kony search abandoned by U.S., Uganda ]
U.S. Special Forces, after a five-year, $780 million hunt in Central Africa, are apparently nearing a decision to abandon their effort to catch Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army U.S. forces now number some 150. They arrived following the global publicization of the LRA’s atrocities in the “Kony 2012” campaign, a short film that went viral. The U.S. troops joined with forces of the CAR, DRC, South Sudan and Uganda in an effort to surround and capture Mr. Kony and his band. They never succeeded, partly due to the difficult terrain within which the LRA operates, and partly due to the likely infiltration of the various African forces by personnel who reported to the LRA, helping Mr. Kony evade capture.
This week, Uganda announced that it, too, would be withdrawing troops from the Central African Republic, or CAR, where forces have been searching for Kony.
Uganda said the LRA is now ineffective.
[May 15, 2016 Kony:Ringed by shipping containers and concertina wire, U.S. base Obo, CAR]
Obo Central African Republic: The Special Forces camp was small by the standards of other conflicts—only a dozen tents and none of the guard towers and heavy weapons. Ringed by shipping containers and concertina wire, the American’s tan tents were built on wood foundations. An American flag flew on a pole near the center of the camp. The sounds of helicopters coming and going provided the camp’s soundtrack. A small detachment of helicopters were based across a runway made of crushed red volcanic rock. Flown by contractors, the helicopters ferried joint American-Ugandan patrols into the bush. Both camps sat on top of a plateau that overlooked miles of jungle, a reminder of just how remote Obo was. The men were living on the remote military bases used by an African Union task force hunting Kony. They are working closely with the soldiers providing intelligence and greeting defectors fresh from the bush. Once on opposite sides, they now live, work, and eat side-by-side with their former pursuers. It wasn’t uncommon to see the defectors sitting elbow-to-elbow with the American Special Forces soldiers in the dining hall.
[April 30 2012 Special Ops Nzara, South Sudan; and Obo Central African Republic ]
About half of the U.S. contingent is based at a joint operations center near the international airport in Entebbe, Uganda. The rest of the troops are divided among four far-flung camps in Dungu, Congo; Nzara, South Sudan; and Obo and Djema in the Central African Republic. wapo