Prioritizing and Sequencing Peacekeeping Mandates in 2019: The Case of MINUSCA

The past year has seen a reduction of organized violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and progress in advancing the political process and restoring and extending state authority. However, challenges remain under each of these objectives, including persistent low-level insecurity, violations of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR (APPR), and difficulty redeploying civilian state administrators outside of Bangui. Moreover, almost no progress has been made on addressing the underlying drivers of violence, including challenges related to identity, citizenship, and inclusion.

In this context, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Stimson Center, and Security Council Report organized a workshop on September 10, 2019, to discuss MINUSCA’s mandate and political strategy. This workshop offered a platform for member states and UN actors to develop a shared understanding and common strategic assessment of the situation in CAR. The discussion was intended to help the Security Council make informed decisions with respect to the strategic orientation, prioritization, and sequencing of the mission’s mandate ahead of its renewal in November 2019.

Participants agreed that MINUSCA’s current mandate and posture have generally given the mission the flexibility it needs to respond to evolving conflict dynamics and political developments. Most therefore did not envision large changes to MINUSCA’s mandate but suggested small adjustments. These included authorizing MINUSCA to support the APPR and reinforce the political process by engaging on broader reconciliation and inclusion efforts; strengthening the mission’s mandate to restore and extend state authority; mandating MINUSCA to support elections; and authorizing MINUSCA to coordinate international partners in CAR.