Central African Republic
It takes two hours to cover the 60 kilometers between Batouri, the capital of the Kadey department to the Lolo refugee site. Near the border with the Central African Republic (CAR) in the commune of Kentzou, the camp hosts a population of over 13,000 refugees from CAR. Fleeing a war-torn country, these vulnerable communities, predominately Muslims, settled at the site from the beginning of 2014.
In 2019, over 1,500 UN Volunteers are assigned to peacekeeping operations worldwide, of which 1,317 are serving in Africa. In West and Central Africa specifically, they play an active role to protect the most vulnerable, through various assignments in Human Rights, Civil Affairs, Political Affairs and Logistics. In addition, a significant number of UN Volunteer Movement Control Officers and Air Operations Assistants provide technical support to facilitate and coordinate the movements of peacekeepers and civilian personnel of the missions.
During his address at the opening ceremony, Francis Huguet Mongombe, President of the National Youth Council, recalled the key role of young girls in the advocacy of his institution for the youth of Central Africa.
Women's youth organizations play a central role in promoting volunteerism at the local level, particularly in peacebuilding. --Francis Huguet Mongombe, President of the National Youth Council
UN Volunteers assigned to UN entities such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), play important roles, advocating for improvements in environmental management and engaging communities to protect the ecosystem.
In 2017, 266 UN Volunteers in West and Central Africa, or 17 per cent of all volunteers deployed in the region, served in assignments linked to environmental issues.
During their assignments with peace keeping missions, UN Volunteers are known to demonstrate an exceptional level of professionalism, dedication and courage.
In 2014, national authorities in CAR decided to establish a Special Criminal Court (SCC) to investigate and prosecute serious human rights violations, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. The law on the creation of the Court was promulgated on the 3 June 2015. It demonstrated strong political willingness to end impunity and the importance of equality, justice and freedom in achieving sustainable peace.
The presence of the UN Mission since 2014 has helped save many lives and greatly improved conditions for the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country where approximately 40% of the population is dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive, according to OCHA.
Bangui, Central African Republic: In 2012, the Central African Republic was plunged into a political and military crisis. The spiral of violence triggered instability and the collapse of the State. The consequences were devastating: people fled their villages, their country, Christians and Muslims were divided, amidst the proliferation of armed groups. Holding elections, despite the support of the international community, was a great challenge. In Bambari, capital of the Ouaka Prefecture, two armed groups, Anti-Balaka (ABLK) and EX-Seleka (X-SLK), coexist.
Bangui, Central African Republic: I am Italian and define myself as a soul traveller. Prior to moving to the Central African Republic (CAR), I have been working, living and studying overseas for the last 10 years. Over the time, I developed expertise in the areas of capacity building, migration, and human trafficking across different countries mainly from South/Southeast Asia, and Africa.