By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russia will insists on full lift of the arms embargo from the Central African Republic (CAR), head of the Africa Department in the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Maintaining the embargo hinders the political process, Andrey Kemarsky said in an interview with the Russian state-run RIA news agency.
"In our view, maintaining the embargo prevents the full deployment of national armed forces and their ability to resist those who derail the peace process. While the CAR army is under the strict control of the UN Security Council sanctions committee, those who oppose it [the CAR army] often get smuggled weapons without hindrance.
"We will support the position of the CAR government, which stands for the full lift of the embargo. In general, we support the complete removal of restrictions so that the armed forces can carry out their tasks. Now there is an abnormal situation. It is unacceptable that groups, opposing the government, have more opportunities to obtain weapons through smuggling, than the government forces," he said.
Commenting on the political process in the country, Kemarsky said there was some positive dynamics, and although the situation is still complicated, the level of armed violence dropped, and a progress was made in implementing disarmament and program of demobilization, repatriation and integration of the former militants.
"Gradually, the expansion of the zone, controlled by the country's armed forces and internal security forces, is moving forward. But it should be noted that the situation is still very complicated," he added.
Speaking about the Russian servicemen in the CAR, Kemarsky said Russia sent 12 out 30 peacemakers within the UN peacemaking mission, authorized by the UN.
Also, there is a group of military advisers arrived in the country by the request of its government, first approved by the UN Security Council. It counts 235 people who are engaged in the training of specialists for the CAR's police and army, he said.
The CAR has been wracked by violence, since Seleka rebels ousted then-President Francois Bozize in 2013.
The landlocked country, bordered by Chad, Sudan, Congo and Cameroon has witnessed fierce fighting between the Muslim Seleka and the Christian anti-Balaka rebels for the past six years. It has forced nearly half of country’s population to migrate and depend on the humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.