UN to tackle collapsing Central African Republic
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on a resolution on Thursday aimed at helping end near-anarchy in the violence-wracked Central African Republic, which it says is threatening stability in the volatile region and beyond.
The draft resolution, which diplomats expect to be approved unanimously, strongly backs a new African Union peacekeeping force in the country and demands swift implementation of a political transition leading to free and fair elections in less than 18 months.
It expresses the council's readiness to consider "appropriate measures" - diplomatic language for sanctions - against those who undermine peace, stability and security, impede the political transition and fuel violence.
One of the world's poorest countries with a long history of chaos and coups, Central African Republic has been in turmoil since a coalition of rebel groups joined forces to overthrow the president in March and put their leader in charge. Since seizing power, the rebels have been accused by human rights groups of scores of atrocities, widespread looting, killings, rapes and conscription of child soldiers.