Improved conditions for female military personnel at camp Kassaï

25 Nov 2020

Improved conditions for female military personnel at camp Kassaï

Maria Kabatanya

MINUSCA today handed over a set of renovated buildings specially designated for female military personnel at Camp Kassaï in Bangui – shining a light on issues of gender within Security Sector Reform (SSR).

The significance of reforming the security sector in a post-conflict setting such as the Central African Republic (CAR) cannot be overstated. It’s a prerequisite for the return of stability and State Authority as well as durable peace and reconciliation processes. The gender dimension of SSR is not seldom overlooked however. The sprawling Camp Kassaï, located east of the CAR’s capital Bangui, is the seat of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA). The camp lacked adequate sleeping and sanitary facilities for female personnel. The CAR Ministry of Defence solicited MINUSCA’s help in bridging that gap.

Mission support has consisted of the construction of two water towers, the refurbishing of a dormitory building with a capacity for 60 bunk beds as well as bathroom facilities at the Active Officers Training School. Restoration work was carried out in collaboration with two Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Implementing Partners – “NGO Nourrir” and the Foundation for International Humanism (FHI).

The goal is to “contribute to the implementation of the National Defence Plan, improve the well-being of female FACA staff and promote respect for human rights” according to the MINUSCA Infrastructure Officer Major Blaise Yao. Significantly, the revamped structures will, in the long term, meet the infrastructure needs of the Armed Forces Training and Education Centres.

On a tour of the reconditioned buildings, the Director of the Cabinet of the CAR Ministry of Defence, Colonel Joachim, Sila expressed gratitude for MINUSCA’s “unwavering solidarity over the past few years”“It is a privilege to know that we can count on the Mission for SSR support. It is now up to us to maintain these facilities,” he added.

“This modest contribution is part of continuing efforts to improve the infrastructure of the Central African Armed Forces that began in 2014 with the partial rehabilitation of Camp Kassai, followed by the renovation of the Camp Leclerc Training Center in Bouar in 2016 and 2017,” said the MINUSCA SSR Section Chief, Carole Baudoin.

Improving the living and working conditions of female personnel in the FACA will help ensure not only the success of national Security Sector Reform (SSR) efforts to guarantee robust institutions that respond to the justice and security needs of the people but also of the wider Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda that recognizes women’s role as imperative to effective peacekeeping.

Construction work was financed by the MINUSCA Security Sector Reform programmatic fund at a cost of over 54 million CFA.